58 UN staff killed by terrorists in 2013

UN says 2013 was dangerous for its staff.

The UN staff union said that at least 58 of its personnel were killed by terrorists and insurgents in 2013.

It said that working for the world body became more dangerous in that year.

According to the figures released on Wednesday by the staff union’s Standing Committee for the Security and Independence of the International Civil Service, the highest number of casualties occurred in attacks targeting the UN in South Sudan, Somalia and Darfur region of Sudan

The figure showed that 33 peacekeepers, 25 civilians and associated personnel were killed in 2013 while working for the organisation.

The union added that the number represented an increase in the death-toll from attacks on UN staff members compared with 2012, when 37 UN personnel were killed.

“Among the horrific assaults was the killing of 12 people associated with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) during an ambush on April 9, 2013,” it said.

The Department of Peacekeeping Operations, DPKO, in New York, also said that about 30 peacekeepers were escorting a civilian convoy when they were ambushed by some 200 armed, unidentified men near the settlement of Gumuruk.

“The shootout that followed led to the killing of five Indian peacekeepers, two national staff and five contractors. Overall in 2013, 16 peacekeepers were killed in Darfur, seven in South Sudan, four in Mali and four in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, DRC,” the union said.

It added that five civilian staff members, four of them working for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, UNRWA, were killed in Syria.

The union’s overview came just months after UN scribe, Ban Ki-moon, appealed to member states and host governments to support all measures of safety and security measures to improve the operational environment for UN personnel.

“UN personnel serve in an increasingly dangerous environment and encounters a variety of threats not previously encountered in the history of the organisation,” Mr. Ban told members of the General Assembly.

He cited a UN report released in 2013 on “Safety and Security of Humanitarian Personnel and Protection of UN officials” which showed that significant security incidents affecting UN staff in 2012 increased to 1,793 compared with 1,759 in 2011.



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