Angus Campbell, the head of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), has refused to say how many soldiers may face criminal charges in Afghanistan for suspected war crimes, but has warned of “uncomfortable days.”
According to Xinhua, the Chief of the Defence Force stated in a speech to a think tank that the investigations are ongoing and that the ADF must acknowledge its faults.
In 2020, Campbell announced the results of a four-year investigation led by Court of Appeal Judge Paul Brereton.
There is credible evidence that Australian special forces members committed up to 39 killings while serving in the war-torn country.
A total of 19 troops have been submitted for criminal investigation.
The Office of the Special Investigator (OSI), which was formed in the aftermath of the report, has stated that it is looking into more than 40 suspected violations.
“The OSI, which is working independently, has seen a first arrest and charging of a former soldier. You won’t see me trying to gloss over these things, and I think that there could be some very uncomfortable days coming forward,” Campbell added.
The deaths of “prisoners, farmers, or citizens” between 2009-13 were blamed on an unregulated “warrior culture” among certain soldiers, according to the 2020 probe report.
It claimed that 25 special forces personnel were directly or indirectly involved in illegal murders in 23 distinct cases.
It suggested that federal police examine 36 occurrences in all.
Before to Kabul’s surrender to the Taliban in August 2021, Australia had a 400-strong force in Afghanistan.