[Dateline: New York | Author: iSeek]
UN staff have been the target of attacks in two recent, separate incidents in Somalia and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Earlier today, 29 October 2008, according to a statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, a suicide car bombing at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) compound in Hargeisa killed two United Nations staff and seriously injured six others, two of them critically.
The UN has been assisting peace efforts in Somalia through the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), led by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah. To assist in these efforts, the Secretary-General today appointed Charles Petrie of France as his Deputy Special Representative for Somalia. [UN News Centre]
The bombing in Somalia comes just days after attacks on staff and civilians in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In a 27 October statement, the Secretary-General condemned "the deliberate attacks on peacekeepers of the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) by forces of the Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple." And in another statement today, the Secretary-General deplored "the apparent targeting of UN peacekeepers at Kibumba."
The Secretary-General expressed his "profound appreciation to the troops and civilians serving in MONUC, who are doing everything possible to protect civilians and fulfill their mandate in untenable circumstances."
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency reported that up to 45,000 Congolese are fleeing an internally displaced person (IDP) camp into Goma, a nearby provincial capital.
The Secretary-General sends his condolences and sympathies to the families of those killed and affected by these heinous attacks. He stressed the neutrality of the United Nations as well as humanitarian personnel.