Swedish Presence in Afghanistan

Traditionally neutral and non-aligned, Sweden has actively sent troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions around the world, from the Congo to Kosovo. There are currently some 500 Swedish soldiers taking part in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, stationed around Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan.

But the mission is controversial with some voices calling for more development assistance instead of a military presence, especially after the deaths of Swedish soldiers in February 2010.

  • To take back deportees.

    A proposal from the EU would use the threat of a drop in aid money to Afghanistan as a way to coax its government to take back citizens whose asylum applications were rejected in the EU.

  • Afghanska styrkor är under hårt tryck från en talibanoffensiv i Helmandprovinsen. Arkivbild: Abdul Khaliq/AP/TT.
    Original ruling overturned.

    Three Afghan interpreters who worked with Swedish forces in Afghanistan have been granted asylum in Sweden. The Swedish Migration Agency had previously turned down the applications.

  • Swedish troops in Afghanistan as part of NATO-led forces. File photo: AP Photo/Sameer Najafizada/TT
    14 years in the Central Asian nation.

    Sweden will assess its presence in Afghanistan between 2002 and 2014 in a new report. The government will scrutinize the country's military and diplomatic activities, as well as its aid programs and crisis management efforts, Dagens Nyheter reports.

  • "Our only future there is death."

    There’s controversy over Sweden continuing to deport rejected asylum-seekers to Afghanistan. But the Swedish government says it never received a key letter from its counterpart in Kabul.

  • Correspondent murdered in March 2014.

    Afghan authorities have arrested two men thought to be members of a group that has claimed responsibility for the 2014 murder of Swedish Radio correspondent Nils Horner in Kabul.

  • Were going shopping.

    A man whose wife and two children died in a train accident in northern Sweden is to be allowed to come to Sweden to pay his last respects and collect their remains.

  • "Not at all without risk but we succeeded".

    Former Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has talked to Swedish Radio about how he smuggled an Afghan student and journalist who was facing the death penalty, out of the country in the government plane.

  • Ali Saghi i Afgan star Foto: Tolo TV
    Talent search.

    "Afghan Star" is a really popular music show on TV in Afghanistan. It's a talent search show kind of like American Idol or Pop Idol in the U.K., except that the security situation in Afghanistan means its risky for the participants. The Taliban is against this kind of music entertainment, and they've threatened the station Tolo TV in previous seasons. This year, one of the show's contestants comes from the Swedish city of Västerås.

  • Killers still at-large.

    Swedish police say they've made little headway regarding the murder investigation of Swedish Radio correspondent Nils Horner who was gunned down while working in Afghanistan.

  • Appeals court over-rules previous rejection.

    A sentence in the migration court on Wednesday confirms that Sweden has a responsibility towards the Afghan interpreters that no longer are employed by the Swedish Armed Forces.

  • Army translators in Afghanistan.

    An attorney representing Afghan interpreters who worked for the Swedish military in Afghanistan criticized the military for not being transparent for its part in granting residency to some, but not all former Afghan employees.

  • Says he risked his life.

    An Afghan interpreter working with the Swedish military was given the wrong information by the armed forces about how he could seek asylum in Sweden. He was told to travel to a neighboring country and apply at a Swedish embassy, which is not possible to do.

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