WASHINGTON: Three independent investigations – Afghan officials and from the United States military, NATO – are now under way into Saturday’s devastating strike in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, which left 22 people dead. The US military has offered some shifting explanations for the bombing raid, from initially talking about “collateral damage” to now acknowledging, as Obama did in his call to MSF leader Joanne Liu, the strike was a blunder.
The president promised Liu the Pentagon probe would “provide a transparent, thorough and objective accounting of the facts and conditions of the event,” Earnest said.
However, the charity, which condemned the strike stressed the importance of an international inquiry. “We cannot rely on an internal military investigation,” Liu told reporters in Geneva, insisting the International Humanitarian Fact Finding Commission should probe the bombing.
“This wasn’t simply an assault on our hospital — it was an assault on the Geneva Conventions,” Liu said. “This can’t be taken.” MSF’s US leader Jason Cone afterwards called on Obama to approval to the commission, which he said would “send a strong sign of the United States authorities obligation to… international humanitarian law as well as the rules of war.”
The factfinding commission, that was formally established in 1991, requires a request by among the 76 states that are signatory to start its work, according to its web site. But MSF brushed aside that explanation, saying “a blunder isn’t an answer for us” and insisting on understanding “the facts, the objective, the standards” behind the raid, which lasted more than one hour. An increasing tide of world-wide revulsion, the United Nations as well as international aid groups have added to come clean within the strike, which came following the Taliban overran Kunduz.