The ‘Kundus Incident’ of 4 September 2009: Was the Aerial Attack Ordered by German Colonel Klein Lawful Under International Humanitarian Law?

Bonn Research Papers on Public International Law No 1/2014

15 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2014

See all articles by Tim Banning

Tim Banning

Hertie School of Governance, Students; University of Bonn, Institute for Public International Law

Date Written: January 11, 2014

Abstract

In its recent judgement of 11 December 2013 the Bonn Regional Court dismissed an action brought by the victims of aerial attack in Kundus ordered by German Colonel Klein on 4 September 2009. The Court did not support the notion of "official misconduct", which would have made the Federal Republic liable. On the occasion, this article offers an analysis of the attack and assesses its lawfulness under International Humanitarian Law. The analysis is largely based on the published findings of a Parliamentary Inquiry Commission on the Kundus incident. It concurs with the Court´s finding that the two hijacked petrol tanker trucks posed indeed legitimate military targets, but it also opposes the Court´s view that all feasible measures for preventing harm to civilians were adopted. This article argues that numerous obligations under International Humanitarian Law were disregarded and that, in fact, an unlawful attack on civilians occurred.

Suggested Citation

Banning, Tim, The ‘Kundus Incident’ of 4 September 2009: Was the Aerial Attack Ordered by German Colonel Klein Lawful Under International Humanitarian Law? (January 11, 2014). Bonn Research Papers on Public International Law No 1/2014 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2378180 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2378180

Tim Banning (Contact Author)

Hertie School of Governance, Students ( email )

Friedrichstraße 180
Berlin
Germany

University of Bonn, Institute for Public International Law ( email )

Germany

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