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Labour mourns the loss of Kiwi soldiers in Afghanistan

20 August 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Labour mourns the loss of Kiwi soldiers in Afghanistan

Labour is offering its heartfelt sympathy to the families, friends and colleagues of the three New Zealand soldiers killed in Afghanistan when their vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device.

“These soldiers gave their lives in the service of their country. Their sacrifice will always be respected and remembered.

“New Zealand can be proud of the contribution it has made in the Bamyan province to assist the lives of the local people. However the ability of our troops to continue to make a real difference there is undermined by the corruption of the Karzai regime.

“We have done our best over nine years but without a government that can win the support of its own people we cannot win the war there.

“With Al Qaeda no longer a significant factor in Afghanistan, the fight is now becoming more of a civil war between the Taliban and the Karzai administration. An orderly transition is needed to complete the process of passing the responsibility for security across to the Afghan National Police in Bamyan.

“We must bring our troops home as soon as practicable,” said David Shearer.

Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Phil Goff says that staying longer in Bamyan will not achieve any significant purpose.

“Our troops have done a great job. They have provided stability. They have assisted with development. But what we can’t solve is the problem created by a central government that has failed to win the hearts and minds of its people.

“The loss of five New Zealand soldiers in the past two weeks is an absolute tragedy. We offer our love and support to the families and friends of those who died yesterday and those still grieving for Lance Corporal Pralli Durrer and Lance Corporal Rory Malone, who died in the same region just two weeks ago.

“We mourn their loss. We pay tribute to their sacrifice. They will not be forgotten,” said Phil Goff.


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