New Zealand to end 20-year military deployment to Afghanistan
New Zealand will end a 20-year military deployment to Afghanistan, withdrawing its remaining forces from the long-running conflict which claimed the lives of 10 Kiwi soldiers.
“After 20 years of a NZDF [Defence Force] presence in Afghanistan, it is now time to conclude our deployment,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement on Wednesday morning.
There were six personnel still in Afghanistan: three deployed to the Afghanistan National Army Officer Academy, and three to a NATO mission headquarters. The deployment will now end by May, Ardern said.
“The deployments to Afghanistan have been one of the longest running in our history, and I wish to acknowledge the 10 New Zealanders who lost their lives in the line of duty, and the more than 3500 NZDF and other agency personnel, whose commitment to replace conflict with peace will always be remembered.”