MSF Statement on October 15 Incident at Kunduz Hospital

MSF in Agok, South Sudan. South Sudan faces many challenges, including ongoing conflict, displacement, food shortages/malnutrition, lack of social services including health care, and insecurity. MSF hospitals have been under attack from different armed groups, putting the medical staff and patients at risk.
SOUTH SUDAN © Valérie Batselaere/MSF
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Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) confirms that an armored vehicle forced its way through the closed main gate of its hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan yesterday, October 15, at 1:30 p.m. local time. The unannounced and forced entry damaged the gate to the property, potentially destroyed evidence, and caused stress and fear for the MSF team that had arrived earlier in the day to visit the hospital. Only after the armored vehicle forced its way into our compound was MSF informed that the intrusion was conducted by a delegation from the US/NATO/Afghan investigation team. This occurred despite an agreement made between MSF and the joint investigation team that MSF would be provided advance notice before each step of the process involving the MSF’s personnel and assets.

Once the investigation team members left their weapons outside, they visited the premises alongside the MSF team. Since the announcement of the US, NATO, and Afghan investigations, MSF has made clear orally and in writing that it will cooperate insofar as procedural standards are respected and other security or logistical constraints allow. MSF remains firm in its call for an impartial and independent investigation by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission to establish the facts of what happened during the bombing of the Kunduz trauma hospital  on October 3.