Kunduz, MSF hospital airstrike: excuses and charges
19 dead and about 30 wounded and missing after the wrong air raid conducted yesterday by the US coalition against hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, where MSF had its headquarters. The attack follows other United States special actions on this city, during the last week, wherein they killed 200 Mansour’s Taliban. Jihadists run away from city center, but now still control some suburban areas.
Doctors Without Borders, of which 12 workers were killed, denied that Talibans were in the hospital: “All parties to the conflict, including in Kabul and Washington, were clearly informed of the precise location (GPS Coordinates) of the MSF facilities – hospital, guesthouse, office and an outreach stabilization unit in Chardara (to the north-west of Kunduz). As MSF does in all conflict contexts, these precise locations were communicated to all parties on multiple occasions over the past months, including most recently on 29 September. The bombing continued for more than 30 minutes after American and Afghan military officials in Kabul and Washington were first informed. MSF urgently seeks clarity on exactly what took place and how this terrible event could have happened. “ NGO’s statement said.
President of United States Barack Obama offered MSF his deepest condolences and explained that “the Department of Defense has launched a full investigation, and we will await the results of that inquiry before making a definitive judgement as to the circumstances of this tragedy.”
“I am deeply saddened by the tragic incident involving a Doctors without Borders hospital in Kunduz – NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said -. I extend my condolences to all those affected. Doctors without Borders perform extraordinary humanitarian work across the world, including in Afghanistan. They play an important role in helping create the conditions for a better future for the Afghan people. “
While the UN is determined to open an investigation, the NGO was forced to move to other city medical centers. However, the investigations announced by United States and United Nations are not enough sufficient: “This attack is abhorrent and a grave violation of International Humanitarian Law,” said Meinie Nicolai, MSF President. “We demand total transparency from Coalition forces. We cannot accept that this horrific loss of life will simply be dismissed as ‘collateral damage’.”
If Russian military intervention in Syria and support for President Assad have not been approved by Washington, the human error, which caused several victims among patients and MSF doctors, embarasses the US in front of the international community, especially after Yemen where, a few months ago, bombs against Sunni refugee camps came from United States equipment.