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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Insecurity in north-western Pakistan prompts UN to reduce staffing levels

2 November 2009 – The United Nations has decided to reduce the presence of international staff in north-western Pakistan in light of the security situation in the region, leaving only those vital for emergency, humanitarian relief or security operations, among other essential activities.

All other international UN staff members who are working in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) will be relocated, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters in New York.

“Security measures will be enhanced for staff that will continue their work in those areas,” she added.

Parts of NWFP, including its capital, Peshawar, have been the site of numerous bombings and attacks this year.

In addition, NWFP and FATA have been the targets of the Government’s military operations to root out militants. Earlier this year, more than 2 million Pakistanis were displaced by the conflict between Government forces and militants in NWFP.

While about half of them have returned home, a new offensive in South Waziristan has already uprooted more than 100,000 people in recent weeks.

Ms. Montas said that the UN is committed to providing development and humanitarian assistance to the people of Pakistan, and will continue to work in the areas where help is required.

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