Muslim Hate of the United Nations

5 Somalis, 7 militants die in attack on UN office

By Abdi Guled of Associated Press
June 19, 2013

Al-Shabab, an al-Qaida-linked militant group, bragged on Twitter that it had taken control of the U.N. compound in Mogadishu.

MOGADISHU, Somalia Al-Qaida-linked militants detonated multiple bomb blasts and breached the main U.N. compound in Mogadishu Wednesday, sparking gun battles with security forces that killed at least 12 people. U.N. personnel who reached the compound's secure bunker all survived, though officials hinted not all reached that bunker.

An ambulance driver said that five Somali civilians were killed and an Associated Press reporter who went inside the U.N. compound after the battle saw two dead bodies of what appeared to be al-Shabab attackers wearing Somali military uniforms. An official said seven attackers died in total.

Ben Parker, a spokesman for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia, said that a first explosion was detonated at 11:30 a.m. and that at least two others followed. Dozens of staff from U.N. humanitarian and development agencies were in the compound and many moved to a secure bunker, he said.

African Union and Somali security forces responded and took control of the compound about an hour later. The U.N. staff who sought refuge in the bunker were then evacuated to the secure military base and airport complex across the street, Parker said.

Parker was then asked if that meant all U.N. people survived: "Assuming that people got to the safe area," he said. "There was not very much time to get into the safe area."

A second U.N. official who could not be named because he is not an official spokesman indicated an announcement of U.N. casualties was upcoming. A third U.N. official said he believed four U.N. workers were killed, including one Kenyan, one Somali and two South Africans. The official said seven attackers died.

Several U.N. guards were believed to have also been wounded, or worse. Both U.N. officials insisted on anonymity because they are not official spokesmen.

Mohamed Ali, an ambulance driver, said he transported five dead civilian bodies and 10 people who were wounded.

Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon said he was appalled that "our friends and partners" at the U.N. who are carrying out humanitarian activities would be the victims "of such barbaric violence." An African Union official, Mahamet Saleh Annadif, condemned the "cowardly" attack and sent condolences "to those who had lost loved ones."

The U.N. has had only a small presence in Mogadishu in recent years, due to the dangers of operating in a city controlled by al-Shabab militants. In December, though, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon touched down in Mogadishu wearing a bullet proof jacket to announce a return of the U.N.'s political office to the seaside capital.

That security measure was necessary because of al-Shabab, the al-Qaida-linked militant group. Al-Shabab said on its Twitter feed shortly after Wednesday's attack that its fighters "are now in control of the entire compound and the battle is still ongoing."

Al-Shabab said that members of its martyrdom brigade were carrying out the attack.

An AP reporter at the scene said one of the three blasts included a car bomb that largely pulled off the compound's front gate. Bullet marks could be seen on the inside walls.

The compound under attack lies just across the street from the secure airport complex, where African Union military forces are based. The U.N. compound is used by agencies like UNICEF, WHO and UNDP.

The top U.N. official on Somalia, Nicholas Kay, also works out of the building. He was not inside the compound when it was attacked and was safe inside the airport compound.

Mogadishu fell into anarchy in 1991 and is just beginning to move past years of sustained conflict. The U.N. and foreign embassies were absent from Mogadishu for close to two decades.

But African Union forces pushed al-Shabab out of Mogadishu in August 2011, meaning residents didn't have to live through daily battles for the first time in years. An international presence slowly began to return and the U.N. began the process of moving its personnel from the nearby capital of Nairobi, Kenya, back to Mogadishu, a process that has accelerated in recent weeks.

International embassies from Turkey and Britain, for example followed. Wednesday's attack, though, underscores the fragile security situation and will force the U.N. and embassies to review their safety plans and decide if they have enough defenses to withstand a sustained al-Shabab assault.

Fadumo Hussein, a shopkeeper who was sitting inside her shop near the attack said she barely escaped unharmed.

"It started with an earsplitting explosion, followed by heavy gunfire," she said, showing holes made by bullets on her shop. "I crouched and then crawled like an animal, I am very lucky. It was a shocking moment."


Nigerian Bombing Will Not Deter UN's Work

VOA News
August 26, 2011

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned a car bomb attack on a United Nation's office in the Nigerian capital. Friday's attack is one of the most deadly in the world body's history, with at least 18 dead and many more wounded.

Ban said at 11 in the morning local time, a car bomber attacked the Abuja compound, which houses 26 humanitarian and development agencies and hundreds of staff.

"We do not yet have precise casualty figures but they are likely to be considerable," said Ban. "A number of people are dead; many more are wounded."

Ban said he is dispatching his deputy, Asha Rose Migiro, who was in Addis Ababa for an African Union meeting, to the Nigerian capital immediately to assess the situation. She will be accompanied by the U.N.'s security chief Gregory Starr.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but suspicion fell on Boko Haram, an Islamist group with links to al-Qaida that has claimed other bombings in Nigeria.

A few hours after the blast, a Boko Haram spokesman telephoned a correspondent for VOA's Hausa service and said the group carried out the attack and warned that "this is just the beginning." The spokesman said the bombing was in response to the government's sending more troops to Nigeria's northeastern Borno state. The soldiers were sent there to stabilize the security situation after an increase in suspected Boko Haram assassinations and bombings.

Meanwhile, a U.N. spokesman in New York, Farhan Haq, told reporters that there had been no previous threat on the U.N. Abuja compound and that it was a well-protected facility, including by a series of barriers and gates.

"The car got through a couple of gates that were defended by security guards," said Haq. "How that happened, how they got past security, we will have to determine how that was the case. But we will try to investigate how our defenses were breached."

Haq said the U.N. has been increasing its security at facilities worldwide to fortify buildings against the evolving and varied threats they face.

At U.N. headquarters, there was a visibly increased presence of armed security and city police outside the building following Friday's events.

In the U.N. Security Council a moment of silence was observed. The Secretary-General then told the council that the Abuja attack would not deter the United Nations from its vital work, but he warned that threats to the institution are growing.

"This outrageous and shocking attack is evidence that the U.N premises are increasingly being viewed as soft targets by extremist elements around the world," added Ban.

The U.N. suffered its deadliest attack on August 19th , 2003 when a suicide bomber struck its headquarters in Baghdad. A total of 22 people were killed, including the chief of the mission.

In December 2007, the U.N. compound in the Algerian capital, Algiers, was also hit. Seventeen staff were killed and 40 others injured. The head of U.N. security resigned over charges of security lapses that may have prevented the attack.


Militants raid UN compounds, ban 3 relief agencies

(AP) Jul 20, 2009

MOGADISHU, Somalia Islamic insurgents with alleged links with al-Qaida looted two United Nations compounds in southern Somalia on Monday, and announced they will ban three U.N. agencies from operating in areas the militants control.

The United Nations confirmed that al-Shabab militants had stolen emergency communication equipment from its compound in Baidoa city, and two cars and some furniture from its compound in the town of Wajid. No injuries were reported. The U.N. said it was suspending its operations in Baidoa and continuing them in Wajid, which serves as the world body's hub for humanitarian aid in the region.

Al-Shabab is battling to overthrow Somalia's government, and it controls large areas of Mogadishu, the capital, and southern Somalia. The U.S. State Department says the group has links with al-Qaida, but al-Shabab denies that.

Somalia has not had a functioning government for 18 years since clan warlords overthrew a brutal dictator and then turned on each other, plunging the Horn of Africa nation into chaos and anarchy. Poverty is widespread, and the country's civilians rely heavily on the food, drinking water and medical treatment that relief agencies provide.

In May, al-Shabab militiamen occupied and looted the U.N. children's agency's compound in the southern Somalia town of Jowhar, which had been an operational hub of its humanitarian work in southern and central Somalia.

Over the past year several other aid agencies have suspended their operations in southern and central Somalia following looting of their equipment or the abduction of their staff by different groups or just the general violence. The aid agencies that have suspended some of their Somalia operations include the International Medical Corps, CARE International and Doctors Without Borders.

Al-Shabab issued a statement Monday saying it was banning three U.N. agencies the U.N. Political Office for Somalia, the Development Program, and the Department for Safety and Security for allegedly working against the Somali Muslim population and against the establishment of an Islamic state. The insurgents said the groups can no longer operate in areas al-Shabab controls.

The insurgents said all aid agencies must register with al-Shabab and that they also will be closed if the militants find them to be "working with an agenda against the Somali Muslim population and/or against the establishment of an Islamic state."

The U.N. responded with a statement saying: "The U.N. is reassessing the situation on the ground and is optimistic that the minimal conditions on the ground will be restored to allow the critical humanitarian work to resume in Baidoa and continue elsewhere in Somalia."

Marie Okabe, the U.N. deputy spokeswoman in New York, also told reporters the U.N. Political Office for Somalia "has not confirmed any official notification of that kind" from the insurgents.

Al-Shabab and other Islamist groups have been fighting Somalia's U.N.-backed government since being chased from power 2 1/2 years ago. The situation is complicated by the continual splintering and reforming of alliances and a web of clan loyalties.

Kidnappings for ransom have been on the rise in recent years, with journalists and aid workers often targeted. The lawlessness also has allowed piracy to flourish off the coast, making the waterway one of the most dangerous in the world.

Associated Press writers Tom Maliti in Nairobi, Kenya, and Edith Lederer in New York contributed to this report.

 

UN fury at Darfur militia ambush

BBC News
July 9, 2008

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has condemned an ambush which left seven members of the joint UN-African Union peace mission to Sudan's Darfur region dead.

Twenty-two others were injured, seven critically, in one of the deadliest assaults on UN forces in recent years.

The UN says its peacekeepers fought for over two hours to repulse suspected Janjaweed fighters, who were armed with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.

Only 10,000 of a planned 26,000-strong peacekeeping force have been deployed.

Correspondents say the UN-AU mission, which began work this year, lacks the military hardware, including attack helicopters, needed to operate effectively in a region roughly the size of France.

'Extreme violence'

Khartoum, which wants predominantly African peacekeepers, has been accused of slowing down the deployment of the force by repeatedly raising objections.

About 40 armoured vehicles ambushed the peace force while it was on patrol in North Darfur on Wednesday.

Ten vehicles from the UN-AU Mission in Darfur (Unamid) were destroyed, Sudan's state media reported.

A spokeswoman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he "condemns in the strongest possible terms this unacceptable act of extreme violence".

The BBC's Laura Trevelyan at the UN in New York says that UN officials suspect Janjaweed militia loyal to Sudan's government were to blame.

She says diplomats are wondering whether the timing of the attack could be linked to the fact that top Sudanese officials could be indicted for war crimes at the International Criminal Court next week.

The Janjaweed has long been hostile to UN troops in Sudan, fearing they could be used to arrest anyone indicted by the court at the Hague, our correspondent says.

Since the conflict began in Darfur five years ago, the UN estimates that some 300,000 people have died and two million have fled their homes.

The conflict began when rebels took up arms in protest at alleged government discrimination against the region.

Pro-government Arab militias have been accused of widespread atrocities against the black African population.

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