US To Make Consolation Payments To Families Of Deceased And Injured In Afghanistan Hospital Airstrike

US To Make Consolation Payments To Families Of Deceased And Injured In Afghanistan Hospital Airstrike

The U.S government will compensate those killed and injured after a U.S. air strike fighter jet repeatedly bombed a Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital located in Northern Afghanistan. The bombings which have been condemned by the international community and the Afghan government have put the future of U.S military assistance to Afghanistan on shaky ground.

The U.S Pentagon announced on Saturday that it would make “condolence payments” to the families of those killed and injured during the air strike on an MSF hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, on Oct. 3.

In a statement on Saturday, Pentagon spokesperson Peter Cook said, it was important to address the consequences of the tragic incident at the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

Cook also said, “US Forces-Afghanistan has the authority to make condolence payments and payments toward repair of the hospital. USFOR-A will work with those affected to determine appropriate payments. If necessary and appropriate, the administration will seek additional authority from the Congress.”

The U.S. Pentagon also said it would avail funds to repair the hospital.

Last Wednesday, U.S. president Barack Obama apologized to the MSF president and the Afghan leader for the strike, saying the hospital had been “mistakenly struck.”
However, the apology by U.S. officials has not been received well by the MSF officials.
On Wednesday, MSF international President Joanne Liu said, “it is unacceptable that the bombing of a hospital and the killing of staff and patients can be dismissed as collateral damage or brushed aside as a mistake.”

Liu called the attack a war crime and stressed for the activation of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission formed under the Geneva Convention to investigate the matter.

Though U.S. officials have repeatedly called the bombing an accident, Liu said the hospital coordinates were “regularly shared” with the military to prevent such tragedies.

Liu said, “Statements from the Afghanistan government have claimed that Taliban forces were using the hospital to fire on coalition forces. These statements imply that Afghan and US forces working together decided to raze to the ground a fully functioning hospital, which amounts to an admission of a war crime.”

During the attack, 12 MSF staff were killed while the other 10 were patients. The hospital is still trying to locate 30 staff who are yet to be accounted for.

Currently, three investigations into the airstrike are ongoing, one by the U.S. military, by NATO and by Afghan officials.