U.N. report shows its staff are targets of violence

Oct. 25, 2013 at 11:06 AM
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UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Attacks on U.N. personnel across the world are evolving as a "distressing phenomenon" corresponding with new types of warfare, the U.N. chief said Friday.

A United Nations report published Friday said 1,793 members of United Nations agencies were affected by "significant security incidents" in 2012, compared to 1,759 the previous year.

"Direct attacks against the United Nations are a distressing phenomenon that has developed over the last decade and these attacks are becoming more intense and more sophisticated," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement.

The report said the use of improvised explosive devices and suicide bombings presented a new type of threat to U.N. personnel. More than 60 percent of the 70 deaths reported for U.N. personnel were tied to an Aug. 26, 2011 car bombing of a United Nations building in Nigeria.

For abductions, the U.N. report said 12 of the 15 personnel reported kidnapped in the first six months of this year were working in Syria.

Ban said all members of the international community are called on to ensure U.N. personnel have the security needed to operate in their respective host countries.

"The security of the United Nations and humanitarian personnel is firstly the responsibility of the host government," he stressed.

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