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MSF Demands War Crimes Investigation After US Bombing of Hospital

MSF Demands War Crimes Investigation After US Bombing of Hospital

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Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has demanded the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC) to investigate possible War Crimes after a Saturday airstrike on a hospital in Afghanistan killed at least 22 people including aid workers.

On Tuesday, the United States confirmed that it had mistakenly bombed a hospital in Kunduz and said the attack had been requested by Afghan forces who had been fighting Taliban militants in the area. According to General John Campbell, US Commander of the International Forces in Afghanistan, the US Special Forces, who were in contact with the Afghan forces, requested an AC-130 gunship to intervene. The General added that the US would never intentionally target a protected medical facility.

Nevertheless, MSF has called for a War Crimes probe stating that it is not enough to simply call the attack a mistake. MSF asserts the coordinates of the Kunduz hospital were well known and that both US and Afghan forces had been informed of its status as a MSF-run hospital multiple times.

The IHFFC, a never before used body that was set up in 1991 under the Geneva Conventions, would not have authority to investigate the Kunduz bombing without the endorsement of the US and Afghanistan because neither are signatories. MSF Chief Joanne Liu explained that the IHFFC is “the only permanent body set up specifically to investigate violations on international humanitarian law.”

“If we let this go, we are basically giving a blank check to any countries at war,” stated Liu in statements to the press.

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