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Peace Coalition Opposes Increased Troop Deployment

*Vigil & Info Picket on Afghanistan at 12 noon-1pm, Fri, Jan. 26th at
Fredericton City Hall. All welcome.
For Immediate Release
January 26, 2007
Peace Coalition Opposes Increased Troop Deployment
“Bring home the troops and don’t send more to war.”
Fredericton – The Fredericton Peace Coalition is voicing its adamant opposition to a proposal to increase Canadian troop deployment in the NATO-led Afghanistan mission.
“We categorically oppose this unjust war and we are outraged at the proposal to send more troops on this immoral mission,” said Tracy Glynn, an organizer with the Fredericton Peace Coalition. “According to independent investigations such as the Senlis Council, Canadian soldiers continue to kill and be killed while enforcing a rule of warlords, opium producers and former Taliban commanders over the Afghan people.”
The Coalition is outraged that so little public finances are being directed to aid and development. “Over 90% of recent Canadian spending in Afghanistan has gone towards military efforts, with less than 10% towards aid and reconstruction,” said Glynn. The group is concerned that military violence and the very presence of foreign military is exacerbating the situation. “Contrary to Department of Defence statements, the situation in Afghanistan is worse than it was 5 years ago — not better. Canada is not a force of peace and stability. Instead, Canada’s military occupation is fuelling a popular nationalist insurgency and is directly responsible for destabilizing the entire region. Canadian troops must get out now.”
Afghan farmers are desperately poor, most Afghans lack safe drinking water and basic healthcare and life expectancy is below 45 years. Alisa Carnall, a member of the local chapter of Women in Black, cites a recent UNIFAM survey where “a majority of Afghan women are victimsof mental, physical and sexual violence.”
The Coalition and international organizations such as Red Cross and Human Rights Watch are extremely alarmed at this unfolding humanitarian disaster, which is made worse by a refugee crisis and numerous incidences of civilian deaths. At the end of November 2006, Amnesty International noted that NATO operations in Afghanistan had contributed to the displacement of up to 90,000 people and that NATO air strikes “may have failed to discriminate between civilians and
military targets.”
The Coalition is demanding an immediate withdrawal of troops, and that the billions of dollars now allocated to the military
intervention be replaced with humanitarian aid for Afghanistan, as well as increased social program spending for Canada.
Canada must move towards supporting genuine peace, security and stability efforts in Afghanistan as requested by democratic groups in Afghanistan. As Malalai Joya, a female Afghanistan Member of Parliament who has dodged repeated assassination attempts, said while in Canada in October 2006: “no nation can donate liberation to another nation. Liberation should be achieved in a country by the people themselves”.
The Fredericton Peace Coalition is a coalition of nine member groups located near the site where hundreds of soldiers are about to be deployed from CFB Gagetown to Afghanistan.
For further information contact:
Tracy Glynn, 454-9527,
Alisa Carnall, 455-9395,
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Time January 26, 2007 at 4:17 am

[...] Over 90% of recent Canadian spending in Afghanistan has gone towards military efforts, with less than 10% towards aid and reconstruction, said Glynn. The group is concerned that military violence and the very presence of foreign … – more – [...]

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