Several Norwegian veterans who participated in operations in Afghanistan are concerned about the situation of former colleagues and partners.
“There are many who have a personal relationship with those they have worked with in Afghanistan. Strong ties are formed when working under conditions that are tougher than usual,” Secretary-General Bjørn Robert Dahl of the Norwegian Veterans Association for International Operations told NTB.
He said that the feedback the association has received from members, and what they have expressed on social media, is that former Afghan employees should now receive a residence permit in Norway based on the fact that the security situation in the country has changed.
“Those responsible for the assessment look at the basis for residence, and the security situation of some of the local employees who worked for Norwegian forces, has changed radically since they applied for residence and were rejected. This entails an obligation to reassess the situation,” Dahl said.
New assessment of ex-employees
The Ministry of Defense confirmed to the newspaper Vårt Land on Sunday that they will look into the cases of Afghans who have previously been employed by Norway one more time.
Minister of Justice Monica Mæland (H) told NTB on Monday morning that local employees for Norway in Afghanistan who did not apply for asylum in connection with the application scheme in 2015 can have their application processed.
“In connection with the processing of cases according to the 2015 instructions, ten people were rejected for compelling reasons. There are no plans to process these applications again. On the other hand, some groups were not covered by the 2015 instruction. There are also people who have been local employees, who for various reasons, chose not to apply in connection with the application scheme in 2015. These groups can be treated now in light of the serious situation,” Mæland said.
Many fear for their lives
Dahl of the Veterans Association is happy with the message from Mæland.
“There is a moral responsibility to look at these issues again. There is some contact between Norwegians and those who worked for Norway in Afghanistan now, especially the administrative part of those who were employed, are saying that they fear for their lives,” Dahl said.
Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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