Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Red Cross assists Taliban

An unnamed Afghan government official objects to the Red Cross providing the Taliban with first-aid training and medical supplies:

They are like animals, and they treat the people they capture worse than animals. They kidnapped and killed an American lady and then wouldn't even return her body. These people don't deserve this help.

A good point, no doubt, but even those tasked with killing off the Taliban provide help when needed:

Isaf [Nato] forces also provide treatment to any case caught up in this conflict, including our opponents, in line with our own obligation to respect the rules of armed conflict.

Local medical staff have perhaps made some errors in judgment, however:

In general the government has been happy to allow fighters to come to the hospital, receive treatment and leave again.

But in Helmand in April, the tacit approval for such humanitarian medical support appeared to break down when Afghan security services raided a hospital in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital, run by an Italian NGO called Emergency, which also has a strict policy of providing surgical help to anyone who needs it. Nine staff were arrested and accused of plotting to murder the provincial governor after
weapons and suicide bomb vests were found in the compound.

Hospital staff may in future want to insist that all weapons be left outside.




Anonymous Intrigued Asian reader said...

So pleased to see that our Asian Correspondent is an expert on Afghanistan. Not just anyone can copy-and-paste from a major news outlet! Keep the incisive commentary coming!

4:52 PM  

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