Practice Relating to Rule 28. Medical Units
In 1994, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in the former Yugoslavia, Finland stated:
Even though there might have been provocations by the Bosnian Government forces, the merciless onslaught by the Serb forces against the safe area [of Goražde] – with the deliberate targeting of hospitals … – cannot be justified. On the contrary, it must be strongly condemned. The Serbs must realize that what they are doing is a blatant violation of basic humanitarian law, and those responsible for these atrocities will be held personally accountable.
For more than 150 years, the international community has been in agreement that warfare should be made less inhumane, through the rules and principles of international humanitarian law. Civilians should be protected in armed conflict. … However, these rules and principles are challenged and sometimes even ignored. … This is for instance the case in Syria (and Iraq) where hospitals … are being made the actual targets of warfare. This must stop.