Thursday, October 28, 2004

Huge weapon stockpile: French corruption

They've "discovered" a huge Soviet ammunition dump a few kilometres from Camp Julien with the potential of obliterating the camp, as well as most of Kabul.

...In the dusty foothills, 10 minutes drive from Camp Julien (population 2,000), 82 buried bunkers, each 20-

metres long, housed thousands of Soviet FROG missiles (one step down from Scud missiles), and every variety of rocket and mortar shells.


Officially this huge weapons cache was unknown to coalition soldiers in Afghanistan.

Unofficially however...

I've never seen anything like it. The feeling is that AMF soldiers were selling access to the dump or permitting friends to enter it.

Littered with burned out Soviet military vehicles, the whole area is a junk pile strewn with every sort of live ammunition, fuses, unexploded shells, rockets, etc., all supposedly under the authority of Belgian troops (at the moment), who ignored it.

In the midst of examining the bunkers and taking photos, a Swedish UN guy, a French major and a German colonel arrived to make a fuss and order the Canadians to leave. The French major insisted his government had a deal with the Afghan government for the area, and ISAF had no business being there.

This cut little ice with Maj. Hynes, who is responsible -- not to the commander of Camp Julien, Col. Jim Ellis -- but to the ANA, which has now moved in to secure the site.

The French major was clearly bluffing, hadn't checked the bunkers and got a classic Canadian roasting from Maj. Hynes -- who was supported by a German general who was also appalled at the laxity.

"Now we've stirred up the hornet's nest," grinned Maj. Hynes. "Good. Now we may get some action."

"I feel foolish that for eight days we've been watching our front, when at our back all this was going on and nobody cared," said Sgt. Mazerolle. canoe.ca

No comments: