Hungary's Afghanistan PRT mission not an armed force |

Hungary's Afghanistan PRT mission not an armed force

December 7, 2010

The Hungarian army's Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) based in Afghanistan's Baghlan Province does not participate in armed action and has never had a mandate to do so, the Defence Ministry said in a statement to MTI on Tuesday, after information provided by whistle-blower Wikileaks in connection with its mission.

Apparently citing US diplomatic cables, Wikileaks said that troops from New Zealand had been forced to take action in Afghanistan in place of "incompetent" Hungarian soldiers.

Karl Eikenberry, the US ambassador to Afghanistan, wrote that violence, drug-related problems and factions vying for power were increasing problems in Baghlan province, where the Hungarian PTR is stationed. He wrote the Hungarian forces were doing little to surmount these problems in the region, and the New Zealand team had been forced to step in to establish order.

The defence ministry said, "Our soldiers cannot be asked to participate in these types of activity in Baghlan province."

According to a defence source quoted by The New Zealand Herald newspaper cited by the defence ministry's statement, the New Zealand PRT based in a neighbouring province had not undertaken any armed action instead of the Hungarian team.


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