Brice Andlauer and Quentin Müller, journalists, have just launched a pavement in a lapping pond after a close and serious investigation conducted in the field, in diplomatic and political circles. The main roles are held by tarjumans. These are not new heroes from Marvel Studios. The word dari "tarjuman" means "interpreter". From 2001 to 2014, there were nearly 800 to have been employed by the French army in Afghanistan, essential link for the military in operation in this country, which they accompanied in the hottest, most dangerous areas. At the time of the withdrawal of French troops, they were simply left to their fate, unenviable: in the eyes of the Taliban, they are indeed considered as traitors who deserve death. Over the pages, we see what is really an "investigation of a French treason". The testimonies collected by our two confreres are humanly terrible. Like this one, from a young 25-year-old performer. "From the first day of my engagement, I put my life in danger. During my missions, I was regularly exposed to the insurgents. But France has never considered this danger. The military told me: "There is only one solution: resign. We can not take you to France. "Since I had some money worries at the time, I continued. "
If this situation is now in the media spotlight, we owe it especially to a French lawyer, Caroline Decroix, now vice-president of the Association of Afghan interpreters of the French army, which she created and who defends voluntarily tarjumans since 2015. As the authors write, "she mobilized a group of volunteer lawyers, harassed ministries for answers, organized demonstrations, contacted journalists, wrote to the President of the Republic and also faced many closed doors. The report is there, chilling: of the 800 tarjumans, only 174 have been repatriated; 73 come to France in 2012 with women and children. In 2015, out of 252 visa applications that were submitted, only 101 were accepted. 151 interpreters are "in uncertainty and despair. Hundreds more have disappeared … ", emphasize Andlauer and Müller.
The most ignoble is obviously the attitude of the French authorities. The different ministries are sending the ball, a hot potato they would like to get rid of, contemptuous or embarrassed, it is according to when the journalists manage to call a high official. One realizes that the bottom of the cowardice was reached by learning from this investigation that if, from 2002, the contracts passed between these interpreters and the French army were under French law, in 2011, whereas is envisaged the withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan, these contracts (often repeated every six months or every year) suddenly fall under Afghan law.
Worse, this concerns not only new hires, but also those hired previously, who are required to sign amendments to their employment agreement establishing the change of jurisdiction, without their being aware of the implications for them of such a change. Or how to prevent any recourse to the French justice. The French army is no longer simply the great dumb. She has become a great traitor. But is this the first time?