MSF wants global body to probe US hospital bombing

2015-10-14 16:36
The charred remains of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. (AP)

The charred remains of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Geneva - Medecins Sans Frontieres said on Wednesday that an international humanitarian commission has been formally asked to investigate the US bombing of its hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, that killed 22 people including 12 of its staff.

The medical charity had been demanding that the independent humanitarian commission created under the Geneva Conventions in 1991 be activated for the first time to handle the inquiry into the October 3 air strike.

MSF, which said it could not rely on US, Nato and Afghan internal investigations to examine the bombing, said the Swiss-based International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission had been activated at the request of a state that it did not name.

"The IHFFC is now awaiting the agreement of the United States and Afghanistan governments to proceed," MSF said in a statement. Both nations must give their approval for the investigation to begin.

US President Barack Obama last week apologised to MSF for the air strike that killed 22 people including 12 of the charity's staff.

MSF has said the commission's inquiry would gather facts and evidence from the United States, Nato and Afghanistan, as well as testimony from MSF staff and patients who survived the attack. The partial destruction of its trauma hospital has left tens of thousands of Afghans without access to health care.

"We have received apologies and condolences, but this is not enough. We are still in the dark about why a well-known hospital full of patients and medical staff was repeatedly bombarded for more than an hour," said Dr Joanne Liu, MSF International President. "We need to understand what happened and why."

The fact-finding commission, composed of 15 experts, was established in 1991 under the Geneva Conventions that aims to protect civilians and non-combatants during war, but has never been activated. Its secretariat is the Swiss capital of Berne.

MSF has previously said it was in talks with Swiss authorities to activate the commission. Swiss foreign ministry officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Read more on:    msf  |  us  |  afghanistan

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.