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Asia-pacific

Top Canadian commander sacked

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-05-30

Brigadier General Daniel Menard, Canada's senior commander in Afghanistan, has been fired over "inappropriate conduct," the Canadian defence ministry said Sunday, stating that Menard had lost the confidence of his bosses.

AFP - Canada's senior commander in Afghanistan has been sacked amid allegations of "inappropriate conduct," the country's defence ministry said Sunday.
  
Brigadier General Daniel Menard had lost the confidence of his bosses, a short statement on the ministry's website said.
  
The decision to dismiss him as commander of Joint-Task Force Afghanistan (JTF-Afg) followed allegations concerning his "inappropriate conduct related to the Canadian Forces Personal Relationships and Fraternization directives," it said.
  
His behaviour, which was not detailed, had "caused Commander CEFCOM to lose confidence in Brigadier General Menard’s capacity to command," it said.
  
Canadian media reported last week that Menard had pleaded guilty at a court martial to charges that he negligently fired his weapon at the Kandahar Airfield, where Canadian troops are based in southern Afghanistan, in March.
  
Canada has 2,800 troops based in Afghanistan, part of an international force of 130,000 fighting a Taliban insurgency concentrated in the southern provinces of Kandahar and Helmand.
  
International forces under NATO and US command are escalating operations against the Taliban in Kandahar, aiming to neutralise the insurgent threat before the end of the year.
  
Menard also commanded Task Force Kandahar, which includes US troops.
  
The Canadian defence ministry statement said he would soon be replaced by Brigadier General Jon Vance, pending the arrival of the next JTF-Afg commander, Brigadier General Dean Milner.
  
Canada has lost 146 troops in Afghanistan since the war began, according to a tally kept by the icasualties.org website.
  
A suicide attack on a NATO convoy in Kabul on May 18 claimed the life of  Canadian Colonel Geoff Parker, 42, the highest-ranking Canadian officer to be killed in the country.
  
In Kabul as part of a NATO team preparing for an upcoming mission, Parker was among 18 people killed when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives laden car in the centre of the city during rush hour.
  
The latest Canadian death was on May 24, when trooper Larry Rudd, 26, from Ontario, was killed in battle in Kandahar.

Date created : 2010-05-30

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