Coalition Soldiers in Afghanistan are Endangering Aid Workers

by Michelle Kelly (a nurse who has worked recently in Kandahar) and Morten Rostrup (international president of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)/Doctors Without Borders)

Published on Thursday, January 31, 2002 in the Guardian of London

We were driving into Kandahar town after a medical assessment in Daman, a neighboring village where there were numerous cluster bombs scattered in the fields, many of which were undetonated. Through the dust we spotted a big Ford pick-up with a westerner sitting in the back. He was wearing a T-shirt, and when we got closer we could see his machine gun, partly concealed. He was one of the soldiers of the international coalition force, based near the airport in Kandahar.

International military personnel must wear something that allows them to be recognized in order to separate themselves properly from international aid workers. Coalition forces who wear civilian clothes misrepresent their role. This practice jeopardizes the safety of humanitarian workers and endangers the humanitarian work, which is urgently needed and anticipated by the Afghan people. 

Read the full article at Common Dreams News Center

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