World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UN condemns killing of aid workers in Afghanistan

UN officials condemn killing of aid workers in Afghanistan

United Nations officials in Kabul today deplored the murder of two Afghan aid workers who died of gunshot wounds near Kandahar earlier this week.

David Singh, a spokesman for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemned “in the strongest possible terms the vicious and deliberate killing” of the victims, who were working for the Voluntary Association for Rehabilitation of Afghanistan (VARA), a local non-governmental organization (NGO) which partners with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The incident took place on Wednesday, when assailants, who were in a taxi, attempted to divert a VARA vehicle. When the driver refused, they opened fire and shot one worker, killing him instantly. The driver sustained serious injuries and died the following day in the Coalition hospital in Kandahar.

“These acts are being committed against dedicated Afghans who, on a daily basis and in spite of the risk, deliver critical services to their own people,” Mr. Singh said. “These crimes can have no justification.”

Under international law, attacks knowingly and intentionally directed against personnel involved in humanitarian assistance constitute war crimes, Mr. Singh pointed out. “These recent killings once more confirm the critical necessity for all parties concerned to establish security throughout the country,” he said.

UNHCR spokesperson Maki Shinohara echoed the condemnation. “VARA is one of our implementing partners in southern Afghanistan, providing shelter and operating several transit centres” for refugees. “The Afghan NGO is working in remote communities, helping Afghans return to their homes.”

Two suspects in Wednesday's attack have been arrested by the authorities. The UNHCR spokesperson voiced hope that the perpetrators would be brought to justice and that security would be improved as soon as possible so that the agency can fully resume its assistance operation in the area.

The spokesperson also addressed the broader problem of attacks on humanitarian personnel. “We are shocked and angered by the brutal targeting of aid workers, which is happening all too frequently these days.”

A number of relief staff in Afghanistan have been killed this year. Two weeks ago, four Afghans working with the Danish aid agency DACAAR were murdered in Ghazni.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>


Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC