Another UN House bomb victim dies in South Africa

UN House bomb blast

Another victim of the United Nations House bombing flown to South Africa for medical attention has lost the prolonged battle to survive the deadly last August blast.

Fred Willis, a United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) staff, was one of those critically injured and were evacuated to South Africa on air ambulances in August. 

Until his death on Friday, he was on life support systems.

Mr. Willis’ death brings the death toll in the incident to 25, consisting 13 UN staff and 12 non-UN staff.

The UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Daouda Toure, in a condolence message to Mr. Willis family,  described the deceased as “a dedicated UN professional who, among other accomplishments, contributed immensely to building the capacity of staff and national institutions in vaccine security and logistics for humanity”.

Mr. Troure, who noted that the attack took the lives of many UN staff and partners as well as maimed several other unidentified persons who were in the building in the pursuit of service to others at the time, promised  the sacrifices of the victims will not be in vain, adding: “We will strive to pursue our work, the work for the people of Nigeria as prescribed in the UN Charter, which says ‘we are the people.”

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Despite the setback as a result of the attack, the UN Resident Coordinator reaffirmed the commitment of the various agencies and organizations that make up the United Nations System in Nigeria to continue on its mission of improving the lives of poor people, of conquering hunger, disease and illiteracy, and encouraging respect for each other’s rights and freedoms.

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