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Afghan refugees used to train Swedish soldiers

Afghan refugees used to train Swedish soldiers

Published: 25 Nov 2010 11:35 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Nov 2010 11:35 GMT+01:00

Sweden’s defence minister is demanding answers after it was revealed that the military used Afghan refugees, at least one of whom was scheduled to be deported, to help train Swedish soldiers.

“I’ve worked training Swedish officers and soldiers so they would be ready when they come to Afghanistan and help the Afghan people,” 30-year-old Sam Amin told TV4.

At the same time as he was working for the Swedish Armed Forces (Försvarsmakten), Amin was also being sought by police who were attempting to carry out a deportation order issued by the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket), according to TV4.

Amin was one of roughly 60 Afghans who worked as extras in Swedish military training exercises to make them more realistic. The exercises took place several weeks ago with the Life Guards regiment (Livgardet) north of Stockholm.

In addition to Amin, roughly of the 40 Afghans employed by the Swedish military lacked Swedish citizenship, a violation of Armed Forces guidelines from January of this year which stipulate that only people with Swedish citizenship can be employed for military exercises.

“I’d estimate that about 20 to 25 actually had passports,” Afghan asylum seeker Abdul Nabi Komaki told TV 4.

In addition, many of the participants in the exercise lack Swedish work permits.

The revelations prompted defence minister Sten Tolgfors to issue a statement ordering the Armed Forces to appear at the ministry and “explain the circumstances of these cases”.

Life Guards regiment spokesperson Katja Öberg Lundgren confirmed for the TT news agency that Afghans who lacked Swedish citizenship participated in the training.

“We haven’t performed background checks on everyone. Our procedures were lacking, quite simply,” she said.

“The measures we adopted [following the introduction of the new guidelines in Januaray] didn’t manage to come into effect to their full extent.”

According to Öberg Lundgren, most of the Afghan refugees who participated in the training served as extras.

“Most of them played the part of village elders, police officers, or merchants. They also served as crowds to give the soldiers as good an insight as possible into what they can look like,” she said.

Armed Forces headquarters has refused to comment on the matter, placing responsibility for the oversight entirely on the Life Guards Regiment.

The Life Guards Regiment is based in the north Stockholm suburb of Kungsängen and is tasked with training Swedish officers and soldiers for international assignments. It also provides training for national service and Home Guard personnel.

The regiment is also home to the Swedish Armed Forces International Centre, SWEDINT, which organises courses peace support operations and multinational staff procedures within the framework of the UN and NATO/PfP (Partnership for Peace).

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:58 November 25, 2010 by Ravioli
I've often asked for at least ONE article about how this country's extremely liberal asylum seeker/refugee policy has benefited Sweden and by God, I've found it. Good on these Afghanis!
17:00 November 25, 2010 by coolguy09
what a shame ,,,,,,why not hire afghans for 3500 kronars to wear swedish flag and fight its pretty cool and in expensive ,,,,,,,another purely europian style is give money to warlords and they in turn protect u , like italians give ransom money. The only TRUE armed forces in europe by all standards is nothing but Royal Army UK ,
19:36 November 25, 2010 by wenddiver
Great Idea. How did these guys get deported and the ones who are wandering around in Afganistan supporting the Talliban, get Citizenship???

I guess diversity means you have to give the terrorists who want to murder you citizenship, whearas these guys are as loyal as regular Swedes.
20:02 November 25, 2010 by Ravioli
Good point, Wenddiver. I'm all for giving these guys citizenship. The only people who complain about this would be Taliban-supporters.
22:11 November 25, 2010 by eZee.se
And cue in the people who say the Taliban are just misunderstood folk in 3.....2......1.......
22:28 November 25, 2010 by Da Goat
Yes I would hire the Afghans and send them with the military back to their home country and when they have served a tour of duty they can be automatic citizens.

what a better way to integrate them into their new homeland!

If they prove themselves by serving then they can be served.
04:07 November 26, 2010 by HowSwedeitis
For sure, they deserve citizenship. If they are helping with the mission in Afghanistan, then they are on our side. Besides, if word gets out that they were "collaborators" then their lives may be in danger. So long as they adhere to the Swedish law, allow them to stay.

04:08 November 26, 2010 by ericrufinosiah
It takes time to groom a small boy into a somebody after many years so some of

the refugees might be planted by some terrorist group for future missions when

the time is ripe,simple maths , and Da Goat's comment is good.
06:17 November 26, 2010 by aab05001
i cannot understand this barbarity....exploiting people who are in need of permita to stay!
08:45 November 26, 2010 by wabasha
that is very realistic training. will the Afgans put this on their CV's?
18:55 November 26, 2010 by OnessOfMankind
This is sad Im just becoming a father is not easy to lose a son, you wait full of desporation for the baby to come to earth and raise him/her bit by bit, and love them so much then some stupid politician sends them to hell to die in Afghanistan...

Is this justice??
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