Interpreter task force being sent to Afghanistan – The Post

Interpreter task force being sent to Afghanistan

The settlement committee said that it has taken a number of steps geared towards strengthening the intelligence efforts concerning the interpreters

August 26th, 2013 5:41 pm| by admin

A committee set up to look into the fates of Afghanistan interpreters who assisted the Danish military has decided to send a fact-finding mission to Afghanistan.

A cross-ministerial task force, led by the Defence Ministry, will be sent to Afghanistan as soon as possible to look into the handling of cases involving local Afghan interpreters who have felt threatened after helping the Danish forces.

“I am delighted that the settlement committee has agreed that the processing of the interpreter cases need to be sped up,” Nicolai Wammen (Socialdemokraterne), the defence minister, said in a press release.

Defence Ministry in the dark
A major issue in the case has been the lack of information regarding many of the interpreters, and the committee said that it has taken a number of steps geared towards strengthening the intelligence efforts regarding those interpreters.

“We’re sending people from the Defence Ministry and Udlændingestyrelsen [the immigration services] to Afghanistan as soon as possible to allow us to ensure the best possible processing of the cases,” Wammen said.

Wammen, who was only recently appointed defence minister, said last week that the interpreter issue was his top priority after it surfaced that the Defence Ministry had no information regarding 37 interpreters who had been hired via a private US security firm. That firm, Mission Essential Personnel, has since agreed to help track down the interpreters.

The Danish forces have employed at least 195 interpreters during their participation in the Afghan conflict.