by Allanah Leahy – EM TV World News
US President Barack Obama made an apology on Wednesday, following the air strike on a “Doctors Without Borders” hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.
The US gunship bombed the hospital last Saturday, killing 22 people, including 12 hospital staff.
International reactions were outrage, following the US-led airstrike last Saturday that resulted in 22 deaths at the hospital, run by Doctors Without Borders, an international NGO serving in over 70 countries.
The NGO, on Wednesday, called for the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission to investigate the bombing of its hospital, while paying tribute to its lost colleagues, many of whom were killed while attempting to save lives.
“Tens of thousands of people in Kunduz can no longer receive medical care now when they need it most. Today we say: enough. Even war has rules. In Kunduz, our patients burned their beds. Our doctors, nurses, and other staff were killed as they worked. Our colleagues had to operate on each other.
“One of our doctors died on an improvised operating table, an office desk, while his colleagues tried to save his life. Today, we pay tribute to those who died in this abhorrent attack. And we pay tribute to those Doctors Without Borders staff who, while watching their colleagues die and with their hospital still on fire, carried on treating the wounded,” said Doctors Without Borders Executive Director Jason Cone.
Doctors Without Borders also said their fact-finding commission has never been activated, due to the lack of a sponsor, which is usually one of Doctors Without Borders’ 76 members.
But the NGO called for US President Obama to get behind the fact-finding mission to prove their commitment and respect for international humanitarian law and the rules of war.
On Wednesday, spokesman Josh Earnest confirmed an apology from the White House, delivered personally by telephone from the US President.
“President Obama spoke by telephone with Doctors Without Borders International President Dr Joanne Lue, to apologise and express his condolences for the MSF staff and patients who were killed and injured when a US military air strike mistakenly struck an MSF field hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan over the weekend…
“After completing that call, the president telephoned Afghan president Ashraf Ghani to express condolences for the innocent loss of life in that incident,” said White House Spokesman Josh Earnest.
Doctors Without Borders said they did not receive a warning before the airstrike, which contradicts the Pentagon’s rules of war, including protection for civilian hospitals, unless an attack warning has been given in a reasonable time limit.