Afghanistan: UN probe into US airstrikes on Kunduz a welcome step towards accountability
In response to today’s announcement by the United Nations that it will investigate last week’s US-led airstrikes in Kunduz province, in which more than 30 civilians were killed, Champa Patel, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director said:
“The horrific events in Kunduz last week are the latest in a growing list of incidents which have resulted in Afghan civilians being killed or injured in attacks that appear to have violated international humanitarian law
“We hope that this UN investigation into the circumstances surrounding the bombing represents a step towards truth and justice for the victims and their families.
“If the investigation ultimately does show that the attack violated international humanitarian law, it is critical that US/NATO forces are held accountable. If there is evidence of war crimes, those responsible must be prosecuted in fair trials.”
“Left in the Dark”, a 2014 report by Amnesty International, detailed the failures of accountability for US military operations in Afghanistan. The report, based on interviews with 125 Afghan victims, their family members and eyewitnesses to the attacks, detailed 10 different incidents that ended with the deaths of at least 140 civilians, including at least 50 children. Among the incidents was a late-night raid on a home in February 2010 in Paktia province that left two pregnant women, two criminal justice officials and a teenage girl dead.
The US armed forces have launched their own investigation into the airstrikes in Kunduz.