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Somalia: killing of UN official elicits condemnation from Security Council

8 July 2008 – The Security Council has strongly condemned the killing of the head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Somalia, who was gunned down by unidentified assailants in the strife-torn nation’s capital.

Osman Ali Ahmed’s brother and son were also wounded in the 6 July attack, which occurred as they left a mosque in Mogadishu. The killing is the latest attack against UN staff in the country, which has not had a functioning government since 1991 and is facing worsening security and humanitarian conditions.

In a statement read out to the press by Ambassador Le Luong Minh of Viet Nam, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency for this month, the 15-member body reaffirmed “the imperative to respect, in all circumstances, the safety and security of United Nations and humanitarian relief personnel.”

The Council called on all Somalis to prevent such attacks from occurring in the future and to work together through peaceful dialogue, and reiterated the need for a comprehensive and lasting cessation of hostilities.

Also speaking out against the killing was the UN’s Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Somalia.

Shamsul Bari, who reports to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council, strongly condemned the persistent threats, notably attacks and kidnappings, against civilians, aid workers, and UN staff in Somalia.

In addition, Mr. Bari urged the Transitional Federal Government to protect the Somali population, investigate violations and bring those responsible to justice.



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