Afghanistan: ICRC welcomes greater efforts to respect international humanitarian law

07 October 2015

Geneva (ICRC) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said it would welcome all impartial investigations which could help to determine the facts behind the bombing of a hospital run by the charity MSF in Kunduz, Afghanistan and to try to make sure such tragedies are not repeated.

The ICRC was reacting to a call by Medecins Sans Frontieres for the activation of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission, a body, which was set up under an Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, but which has yet to be used.

"We have always been supportive of the IHFFC. If it can help to clarify the facts surrounding this tragic incident which led to the deaths of medical staff and patients in a health care facility, which should be protected under the laws of armed conflict, that would be a positive development," said Dr Helen Durham, the ICRC's Director of International Law and Policy.

An IHFFC investigation could be complementary to those being conducted by the United States, NATO and potentially Afghanistan, she added.

For further information, please contact:
Francis Markus, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 23 28 / +41 79 244 64 24

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*Video: Reuters