The medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders, has called for a war crimes probe into the air strike on a Kunduz hospital in Afghanistan, which the US has admitted was a mistake. The MSF has involved the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission, which has never been used before, to investigate the attack.
Speaking to reporters in Geneva, MSF chief Joanne Liu said: "We cannot rely on internal military investigations by the US, Nato and Afghan forces. [IHFFC is the] only permanent body set up specifically to investigate violations on an international humanitarian law." The IHFFC is not a court but an international investigative body which was established in 1991 to resolve humanitarian conflicts between different countries.
"We ask signatory states to activate the commission to establish the truth and to reassert the protected status of hospitals in conflicts. If we let this go, we are basically giving a blank cheque to any countries at war," added Liu.
While admitting the hospital bombing was a mistake, the US insisted it was not a deliberate attack, as claimed by the MSF. In a testimony to a US senate panel, top US commander John Campbell said: "To be clear, the decision to provide aerial fire was a US decision made within the US chain of command. A hospital was mistakenly struck. We would never intentionally target a protected medical facility."