The earthquake which devastated Haiti a year ago, killing at least 220,000 people, also took the lives of more United Nations personnel than any other single event and today the world body’s Staff Union mourned the colleagues killed there and in other parts of the world in 2010.
“The Staff Union again pays homage to the 102 United Nations personnel who died on 12 January 2010 in the Haiti earthquake, the biggest single loss of life in the history of United Nations peacekeeping,” UN Staff Union President Stephen Kisambira said.
“One year later, the pain from that loss has not diminished, and the Staff Union mourns together with the families and friends of the deceased even as we commiserate with the survivors whose lives have forever changed.”
The quake killed 59 civilian personnel and 43 members of the police and military contingents of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
In addition to that disaster, at least one civilian staff member, 10 peacekeepers and three UN civilian subcontractors lost their lives as a result of acts of violence in 2010.
“Once again, United Nations personnel were senselessly killed while working to assist populations in need,” Mr. Kisambira said. “The Darfur region of the Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Afghanistan were, again, among the most dangerous areas for United Nations personnel.
“We appeal to the Governments concerned to do the utmost to guarantee the protection of United Nations staff and other related personnel. The string of kidnappings in Darfur is particularly worrisome.”