UN investigates staff security in Afghanistan / News / The Foreigner

UN investigates staff security in Afghanistan. The UN is to deal with security challenges for its Afghanistan operations in the aftermath of Friday’s attack resulting in the death of a Norwegian officer and six others. Speaking with President Hamid Karzai yesterday, UN Secretary-General (UNSG) Ban Ki-moon expressed his “sadness and shock”. He condemned the assault on the UN building in Mazar-i-Sharif in which 53-year-old Lieutenant Colonel Siri Skare, died, together with two other UN staff and four Nepalese Gurkhas.

mazar-i-sharif, talibanattack, un, deadnorwegiansoldier, terryjoneskoranburning, jonasgahrstoere, gretefaremo, barackobama



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UN investigates staff security in Afghanistan

Published on Sunday, 3rd April, 2011 at 22:36 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson and Ramona Tancau   .
Last Updated on 4th April 2011 at 10:35.

The UN is to deal with security challenges for its Afghanistan operations in the aftermath of Friday’s attack resulting in the death of a Norwegian officer and six others.

UN Mazar-i-Sharif victims arrive in Kabul
UN Mazar-i-Sharif victims arrive in Kabul
Photo: UNAMA/Eric Kanalstein


Helpless

Speaking with President Hamid Karzai yesterday, UN Secretary-General (UNSG) Ban Ki-moon expressed his “sadness and shock”.

He condemned the assault on the UN building in Mazar-i-Sharif in which 53-year-old Lieutenant Colonel Siri Skare, died, together with two other UN staff and four Nepalese Gurkhas.

Mr Ban also said he would now be dispatching his Chef de Cabinet Vijay Nambiar and Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security Gregory Starr to Afghanistan to review the security situation.  

The attack on the UN, sparked by US pastor Terry Jones’ burning of a Koran in a Florida church on 20th March, isbelieved to be the worst since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

According to Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, some of the rebels were already carrying weapons.

“Some of them were obviously armed. They stormed the building and set fire to it,” he said, also pointing out the numbers of protestors meant preventing the attack was impossible.

Whilst police in Afghanistan have previously claimed two UN staff members were beheaded, Mr Le Roy denies this, telling AFP one of the one of the victims had their throat slit. Local employees and a presently undetermined number of Afghan demonstrators also died.

Staffan Di Mistura, The UN’s Chief Envoy to Afghanistan, places the blame for Friday’s assault firmly on Pastor Jones.

I don't think we should be blaming any Afghan. We should be blaming the person who produced the news - the one who burned the Koran. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from offending culture, religion, traditions," he tells the BBC today.

Condemning the attack as "outrageous", US President Barack Obama says desecrating a holy text is "an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry."

Censure and condolence

Lieutenant Colonel Siri Skare
Lieutenant Colonel Siri Skare
Forsvaret
Norwegian Minister of Defense Grete Faremo issued a statement following the assault, which killed Lieutenant Colonel Skare, Norway’s first female military pilot.

“Today’s attack on the UN compound is not only an attack on the UN and the international community, but also on the future of the Afghan people,” she said.

“The Norwegian Government condemns in the strongest terms today’s attack on a UN compound in Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan, in which a Norwegian UN worker was among those who were killed,” added Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

UNSG Ban Ki-moon has sent his condolences to the Norwegian officer’s family and the other victims.

He condemnedthe “appalling attack on those seeking to help the Afghan people. [Those killed] were dedicated to the cause of peace in Afghanistan and to a better life for all Afghans. These brave men and women were working in the best tradition of the United Nations and gave their lives in the service of humanity.”

The Norwegian military held a memorial service today for Lieutenant Colonel Skare at its Nidaros Camp in Mazar-i-Sharif.

A press spokesperson for Norway’s Chief of Defence tells The Foreigner her body is currently in a coffin in Kabul, and the army is now working on transporting her body home.

On Wednesday, a ceremony attended by Minister of Defence Faremo will be held at Oslo Gardermoen airport following its arrival aboard a Hercules plane.

“It is very tragic when we lose one of our own, but our thoughts are first and foremost with her family and friends. We do not have a complete overview of what happened yet, but are working on it now, "said head of the Norwegian forces in Afghanistan, Lieutenant Colonel Knut Eide, in yesterday’s press statement.



Published on Sunday, 3rd April, 2011 at 22:36 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson and Ramona Tancau   .
Last updated on 4th April 2011 at 10:35.

This post has the following tags: mazar-i-sharif, talibanattack, un, deadnorwegiansoldier, terryjoneskoranburning, jonasgahrstoere, gretefaremo, barackobama.





  
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