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A mistake, justification and an apology

A mistake, justification and an apology

The deadly airstrikes by the US Air Force on Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders hospital in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz on Saturday killed 22 people including 12 doctors and injured 37 others leaving the hospital in rubbles.

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday had apologized to the MSF for the horrific incident guaranteeing a transparent and independent investigation into the attack and promising to issue strict orders to the officials for preventing such horrific attacks in future. But the controversy surrounding the matter seems least likely to die down at the international level. The MSF has called for a state activation of the International Humanitarian Fact Finding Commission to investigate the Afghan bombing. Doctors Without Borders which has received honors like the Nobel Peace Prize and the Indira Gandhi Prize is an international non-governmental organization that provides medical and humanitarian aid in the dangerous war-torn areas and developing countries. Obama’s apology to the organization is an evidence of the US army admitting their crime. The Taliban had captured Kunduz shocking the US military forces as well as the Afghanistan government negating all claims of the US that it has put an end to the terrorist group during the anti-terrorism war led by the US for the past 14 years. This triggered the airstrikes on the MSF hospital that lodged around 200 patients and numerous medical staff. The escalating anxiety over Afghanistan’s national security due to the threat posed by the Islamic State militants along with the fear of Taliban re-surfacing even more strongly under its new leader Akhtar Mansour might have bothered the Kabul and Washington governments. The control of the geographical area of Kunduz which frequently connect with its neighbouring Tajikistan across the bridge over the Oxus River, continuing to be under the Taliban, would have also worried them.

The airstrikes carried out under the guise of countering Taliban is not just a plain violation of international law but also a war crime according to MSF. The MSF president said that the afghan bombing was not merely against the hospital but also an ‘attack on Geneva Conventions’. There were heart breaking reports of medical staff finding patients burnt to death in their beds. The US forces had initially justified the heinous crime citing that the Taliban had attacked them at the hospital using it as their base. The apologies came as medical professionals and staff from different countries came forward rubbishing all the claims of the army. Had the US forces shown some decency in at least informing the sources of the impending attacks, the extent of casualties could have been reduced. The experts in the field have therefore established the attack as a violation of international law. The circumstantial evidences prove that the MSF hospital bombing was a deliberate offensive carried out by the imperialistic forces that can’t bear the sight of the people invaded. The official statements related to the matter have been repeatedly changed following the controversies at the international level. Despite the efforts by the US to appease the organization authorities, the organisation has said that any inquiry under the NATO, US-Afghan Agency or US Defence Ministry was unacceptable to them. Even though the battling forces frequently violate laws in the war zones, the organizations providing medical and humanitarian aid are usually not touched. The tragic incident of slaughtering innocents is not the first of its kind carried out by the US and its allies while battling its opponents. Apologizing and saving its face when the international fury surface has been a norm. The Republican Congressmen have come forward saying that even such an apology was a major crime and it all means that nothing less than brutal offensives are to be expected in near future.

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