Obama apologizes to Doctors Without Borders for deadly airstrike
By Zabihullah Moosakhail - Thu Oct 08 2015, 9:03 am
President Barack Obama has apologized to the leader of Doctors Without Borders over US airstrike in northern Kundoz province of Afghanistan that left several of the organization’s staffers and patients left dead.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said: “based on what the president has learned,” he thought it was best to “own up to our mistakes and to vow to carry out a full investigation to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”
Called the event a “profound tragedy”, Earnest said the U.S. “mistakenly struck” the hospital.
Earnest said investigators would have to “learn exactly what happened and provide the full accounting that the president has asked for.”
President Obama in a phone call with Joanne Liu, the president of Doctors Without Borders, assured him that a Pentagon investigation of the bombing would provide a “transparent, thorough and objective accounting of the facts” that, if necessary, would result in changes to reduce the likelihood of another attack, Earnest said.
Doctors Without Borders have also confirmed receiving President Obama’s apology regarding the hospital bombing.
But the charity organizations President Joanne Liu said that the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission, a group set up under the Geneva Convention, should look into the attack.
After his apology to the President of the charity organization, Obama called President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to express his condolences for the loss of life and commended the Afghan forces in securing Kunduz.
“When we make a mistake, we’re honest about it,” Earnest said.
General John Campbell, the commander of NATO’s Resolute Support mission and US forces in Afghanistan in his testimony to Senate Armed Services on Tuesday accepted that the decision to conduct the airstrike was made within the US chain of command, adding that it was a mistake.
22 people including 12 MSF staffers were killed and several others wounded in the strike that faced international condemnation.
Taliban occupied several areas of Kundoz city on the evening of Monday last week after severe clashes with security forces.
They had been controlling the seized areas for about two days before Security forces backed by US airstrikes launched a large-scale operation to end their siege on those areas.
One of the US airstrikes hit a MSF hospital resulting in the deaths and injuries of dozens of people.