The United Nations Staff Union today reported that UN members have become primary targets of attacks by terrorists and insurgents around the globe.
The world body’s Staff Union today paid tribute to those colleagues killed while serving with the Organization in 2011.
Thirty-five UN personnel were killed in the line of duty last year, according to a press release issued on Tuesday by the UN Staff Union. Twenty-five civilians, nine peacekeepers and a military officer – were killed in 2011, along with four security guards working for the Organization.
The UN Staff Union noted that the number represents an increase in the death-toll from attacks on UN staff members compared with the previous year, when 15 UN personnel were killed.
“Enough is enough. One life lost is one life too many. The security and safety of United Nations premises and staff have to be taken more seriously, more funds must be made available for that purpose and decisions regarding security of staff should be independent of any economic or political consideration.” -UN Staff Union President Barbara Tavora-Jainchill
The UN Staff Union reported that the worst attacks of the year came in Nigeria and Afghanistan. Eleven staff members perished when the world body’s offices in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, were attacked by a suicide bomber on 26 August. According to media reports, 23 people died in total as a result of the attack on UN House, while 116 others were injured.
On 1 April, angry demonstrators stormed a United Nations’ compound in Mazar-i-Sharif that resulted in the death of three UN staff and four security guards. The violence escalated at the burning of a copy of the Koran by a United States group. An unconfirmed number of Afghan demonstrators were killed. Many staff were also wounded, including the head of UNAMA’s office in Mazar-i-Sharif.