Mike Noyes, ActionAid Head of Humanitarian Response, on behalf of the Start Network, said:
“This terrible bombing in Afghanistan needs independent investigation now. It was a clearly indicated hospital and protected under international law. But sadly this is not an isolated incident, civilians and aid workers are killed an injured in conflicts almost every day. Since this attack, airborne attacks have killed many civilians in Yemen and other bombs have hit hospitals in Syria. The growing lack of respect for the Geneva conventions must be challenged. People have a right to protection and safety under international law and the world must do more to see this respected.”
Statement from the Start Network on the Kunduz Hospital bombings
The horrific bombing of the Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan has once again illustrated the growing lack of respect for the Geneva Conventions and other international norms in conflicts around the world. This is having a catastrophic effect on civilian populations and on humanitarian workers.
The 24 members of the Start Network, all international NGOs with a global humanitarian reach, condemn this event and align ourselves fully with the call by MSF for an independent investigation through the International Humanitarian Fact Finding Commission (IHFFC).
The world is a safer place for all peoples when humanitarian action is respected. An IHFFC investigation, regardless of its outcome, will confirm that governments and people around the world value the Geneva Conventions and the protection of humanitarian workers. Even war has limits in a civilised world.
We call on the UN and member states, in particular those governments from the countries in which our network members are based, to implement this independent investigation without delay and commit to following up its findings.