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


Aid Workers Killed In Somalia And Afghanistan

Ban Deplores Killing Of Aid Workers In Somalia And Afghanistan

New York, Oct 20 2008 2:10PM

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today spoke out against the recent killing of aid workers in Somalia and Afghanistan, condemning the murders and voicing alarm at the increasing number of attacks against humanitarian staff in both countries.

Two local staff members for United Nations agencies operating in Somalia have been killed since Friday and a worker with a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Afghanistan was slain today.

“The Secretary-General deplores these acts of deliberate violence against those who are making every effort to alleviate the dire suffering of Somali and Afghan citizens,” according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.

“He is alarmed at the increasing trend of killing and abduction of aid workers in both countries.”

Staff of UN aid agencies and NGOs have come under increasing deliberate attack in Somalia and Afghanistan in recent months, as well as in other countries and regions plagued by conflict, such as the Darfur region of western Sudan.

In a report released earlier this month on staff security, Mr. Ban called for collective responsibility and closer collaboration between the UN and its Member States to better protect UN staff and other humanitarian workers.

The report found there were 490 attacks against UN offices, convoys and premises between July 2007 and June this year, leading to 26 deaths of UN staff. At least 63 workers with NGOs were murdered during the same period.

The most recent series of attacks started on Friday, when Abdenasser Adan Muse, a senior programme assistant for the World Food Programme (WFP), was shot three times as he left a mosque in the town of Merka.

A spokesperson for WFP, Bettina Luescher, told the UN News Centre that the agency was shocked and saddened by the attack on Mr. Muse.

“This killing only undermines what a dangerous place Somalia is – this is the second WFP staff member to be killed this year, in addition to five drivers working for WFP contractors,” Ms. Luescher said.

“WFP appeals to all factions in Somalia to respect humanitarian workers and allow them to carry out their life-saving work at a time when their skills are critically needed.”

Mukhtar Mohammed Hassan, a water engineer working with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), was shot dead yesterday in Huddur as he walked with friends after attending the local mosque.

The agency said an investigation into the circumstances and motive for the killing was now under way and offered its condolences to Mr. Hassan’s family.

“Mukhtar played an important role in providing vulnerable communities with access to clean drinking water and sanitation in areas where the risk of water-based diseases is high,” Hannan Suleiman, UNICEF Deputy Representative for Somalia, said.

Gayle Williams, who worked for the Christian NGO known as SERVE Afghanistan as a volunteer on projects assisting the disabled, was shot dead today as she walked to work in Kabul. She was 34 and a dual British-South African national.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Afghanistan: Record Number Of Women And Children Killed Or Wounded

More women and children were killed and wounded in Afghanistan in the first half of 2021 than in the first six months of any year since records began in 2009, a United Nations report revealed on Monday... More>>

Tale Of Two Pandemics: Follow The Science And Do Not Forget One At The Cost Of The Other

Covid-19 has posed innumerable health, economic, and social challenges for all, including people living with HIV. It has exposed the fragility of health systems around the globe and has diverted political attention and funding from other infectious diseases like TB and HIV... More>>

UN: Rights Chief Calls For Prompt Release Of Protestors Held In Cuba
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Friday called for the prompt release of protestors and journalists detained during anti-government demonstrations in Cuba, some of whom are being held incommunicado... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Food Systems: More Than 100 Countries Discuss Visions For Futures To Accelerate Global Action Ahead Of September Summit

More than 100 countries came together over the course of three-days to discuss how they will transform their national food systems to drive progress against the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030... More>>

Food Systems: Italian & Rwandan Leaders Join Urgent Call To Transform World’s Food Systems As Pre-Summit Begins

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame stress need for more inclusive, sustainable and holistic approaches ahead of the Summit in New York in September... More>>

UN: Play:Fair For People And Planet – A Major United Nations Music Activation
organized by the UN SDG Action Campaign in partnership with Music Innovation Hub, Keychange, the city of Milan, the Milan Triennale, and partners from the SDG Music Network, will be held at an unexpected location in the center of Milan, Italy, taking into account safety measures with a limited on-site audience consisting of activists and fans... More>>