STATEMENT OF THE WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM, UNITED STATES SECTION,
On the Horrific Bombing Attack by the United States of America Military Air Forces on the Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres) Civilian Hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, on October 3, 2015
We, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, United States Section (WILPF US), condemn the United States of America's horrific bombing of the hospital of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning humanitarian organization, Doctors Without Borders, known in French as Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), in Kunduz, Afghanistan, on Saturday, October 3, 2015, that killed ten patients and twelve MSF staff and wounded many more patients;
1 as of several days later, at least thirty-three additional people were still unaccounted for.
2 The US version of the British newspaper,
The Guardian, reports that, "Three children died in the airstrike that came in multiple waves and burned patients alive in their beds."
3 WILPF US strongly condemns this carnage, in which civilians are the casualty, underscoring that war is not selective in its destruction of human lives.
Again, according to
The Guardian, "The airstrike on the hospital is among the worst and most visible cases of civilian deaths caused by US forces during the 14-year Afghanistan war that Barack Obama has declared all but over."
4 It was reported that the existence and location of the hospital was well known, and hospital personnel informed USA military forces that the hospital was being bombed, as it was happening, but public statements by the USA military have variously claimed the bombings to have been a "mistake" or "collateral damage" of war.
WILPF US is also outraged that the destruction of a hospital, a safe space, with its staff and patients has been callously described as "collateral damage" by someone identified as "Colonel Brian Tribus, a spokesman for US-Forces Afghanistan."
The 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention established specific protections for civilians and hospitals, from acts of war; calls are being made for action to be taken against the USA and our military under the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and this article from
7 suggests that the USA and Afghanistan governments may have already made admissions of this act as a war crime.
We extend our solidarity to the families of all those who are missing, or injured, or who have been killed, to Médecins sans Frontières, and to the Afghan people, all victims of this war crime. We condemn this violence!
We, the members of WILPF US, join with others, including WILPF in England and others in the international community and Médecins sans Frontières, in recommending the following:
- Independent commission of inquiry be established in accord with the Geneva Conventions and under the impartial leadership of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC)8
- USA demonstrate good faith by making available all information pertinent to the bombing
- USA disarm and end all acts of aggression which escalate wars in the region
- USA government and military accept responsibility for the deaths of innocent civilians rather than define the action causing the deaths as "a mistake"
- USA recognize the humanity and dignity of the victims and their families rather than define them as "collateral damage"
Kathy Kelly and others protest the bombing of the hospital in Kunduz.
Photo: Upstate New York Coalition to Ground Drones & End the Wars.