Paying the Ultimate Price: Analysis of the Deaths of Humanitarian Aid Workers 1997 - 2001

In the context of an increased number of civilian aid workers killed in the line of duty, this paper analyses the deaths of humanitarian aid workers during the period of 1997 - 2001 with the use of the Structured Humanitarian Assistance Reporting (SHARE) approach for documenting and analysing data.

The analysis examines the trends and assessment of security threats faced by the humanitarian aid community as a whole by tracking incidents involving all organisations providing some type of humanitarian assistance, including UN agencies and national and international NGOs.

The research derives primarily from five years of accumulated reports in the ReliefWeb document database, containing documents from over 600 sources, mostly humanitarian organizations. This documentation can be found in The Chronology of Humanitarian Aid Workers killed: 1997- 2001, outlining a chronology of events and details of each recorded incident, including the nature of the death of the worker(s), the date of the incident, the location of the incident, as well as reporting the source of the information.

Chronology of Humanitarian Aid Workers killed in 1997 - 2001

Compiled by Dennis King
15 January 2002

Note:  The Chronology below is an attempt to document security incidents involving humanitarian aid workers that resulted in death due to violent attacks or work-related accidents. It may not be exhaustive and does not include deaths due to natural causes or non-work related incidents, killings of UN or military peacekeeping personnel, or deaths in countries not experiencing humanitarian emergencies.

The Chronology was compiled from the ReliefWeb database and includes links to the complete source reference and to electronic maps indicating the location of the incident, whenever possible.

CHRONOLOGY OF HUMANITARIAN AID WORKERS KILLED IN 2001

10 December 2001: GUINEA: OCHA driver, Mr Balde, was killed as a result of a hit-and-run accident in Conakry, Guinea.

20 November 2001:  BURUNDI:   World Health Organisation's representative to Burundi, Dr. Kassi Manlan, of the Ivory Coast, was murdered and  found 20 November on the shore of Lake Tanganyika in the grounds of a sailing club used by Bujumbura's expatriate community. Four security guards who worked for a local company that provided protection to Dr. Manlan's home were charged with complicity in the murder. [AFP]

8 October 2001 - AFGHANISTAN: Four members of a local organization working with the United Nations mine-clearing programme in Afghanistan were killed accidently on the night of 8 October during a U.S. missile attack and aerial bombardment of the capital, Kabul.  The four, identified as Safiullah, Naseer Ahmad, Najeebullah, and Abdul Saboor, worked for Afghan Technical Consultants (ATC), one of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working under the umbrella of the UN Mine Action Programme for Afghanistan.  The four were killed in ATC office, located in Yaka Toot Village, three kilometres east of Kabul. [UN DPI]

3 October 2001 - INDONESIA:  A local village chief and Indonesian Red Cross worker, Jafar Syehdo, was found dead with gunshot wounds and torture marks in the village of Glumpang Payong, Jeumpa sub-district in Bireuen district of Indonesia's restive Aceh province.  The body of another man, a vegetable trader, was found with gunshot wounds about 100 meters from Syehdo's corpse.  The attacks were blamed on  the separatist Free Aceh Movement (GAM). GAM has been fighting for an independent Islamic state in Aceh since 1976 but violence   has intensified in recent months. More than 1,500 people have been killed so far this year, according to human rights groups.  [AFP]

1 September 2001 - SUDAN: Catholic Relief Services reported that one of its staff members, Onen Joseph Clay, was killed along with five other community members from the town of Nimule in southern Sudan. The killings occurred in a vicious  attack on their vehicle by an unidentified armed group. The attack took place Saturday morning, September 1st, along the Nimule-Adjumani road northern Uganda. Clay, 29, was a Sudanese working with CRS as a driver/mechanic, as part of a heroic team that operates in Nimule, carrying out the agency's program to support vulnerable internally displaced people and communities in the Eastern Equatoria region of Sudan.  (1 local, ambush)  [CRS]

20 July 2001 - FORMER YUGOLSAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA: Three European Union officials working in Macedonia have been killed apparently as the result of a landmine explosion. "We have knowledge about three people being killed in Macedonia. One was Norwegian, one from Slovakia and one a translator from Albania," , Swedish Foreign Ministry spokesman Goesta Grassman told AFP. "They were members of the European Union monitoring mission. It was probably a mine accident, but we don't know the exact reason for the mine exploding. It could be an accident but it could also be intentional," he added.  The three-man European Union team was found dead in Macedonia after their vehicle was blown into a ravine by a mine as the team monitored a fragile cease-fire in the divided former Yugoslav republic. The Norwegian and Slovakian monitors and their translator, a member of Macedonia's large Albanian minority, disappeared on 19 July in hills near Tetovo, a flash-point town, 30 miles from Skopje.  (3 expat, landmine)  [Reuters]

5 July 2001 - CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC:  UN security coordinator Jean-Pierre Lhommee, who worked to protect UN aid workers, was killed in a burst of automatic weapons fire by unknown assailants in the middle of the night as he arrived at the Bangui home of a UN employee who had telephoned him during an armed robbery. (1 expat, killed)
[UN DPI]

5 July 2001 - ANGOLA: Angolan rebels killed one person and looted a truck that had straggled behind a 300-vehicle food convoy headed for the highland city of Huambo. Despite the attack, the convoy managed to deliver 547 tonnes of food, some of it aid supplies, from the port of Lobito to Huambo some 500 km (300 miles) southeast of  Luanda, the official told Reuters.  (1 local, ambush)  [Reuters]

1 July 2001 - FIJI: John Scott, Director General of Fiji Red Cross Society, was found dead in his house in Suva on the morning of 1 July. The motive for his tragic death is under police investigation.  John Maurice Scott was born in Suva, Fiji in 1948, educated in Fiji and New Zealand, and held a number of prominent public positions for various national, regional and international councils and programmes.  He had worked on Red Cross humanitarian activities throughout his life, including providing assistance during the attempted coup in Fiji in 2000.  (1 expat, killed)  [IFRC]

1 July 2001 - COLOMBIA:  Alma Rosa Jaramillo Lafourie, a local human rights lawyer working with the Diocese of Magangue and the Middle Magdalena Development and Peace Program, was found murdered near the city of Barrancabermeja Santander, after being kidnapped by paramilitary group known for attacking human rights defenders.  (1 local killed)  [HRW]

21 June 2001 - BURUNDI:  Rebels in northeast Burundi killed a local employee of the British charity Children Aid Direct (CAD) and took three people hostage when they ambushed their van near the town of Bubanza. The rebels of the Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD) freed their three captives when the army launched a hunt for them after the ambush on 21 June. (1 local ambush)  [AFP]

27 May 2001 - CAMEROON:  An International Federation of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies delegate was attacked and killed in Yaoundé, Cameroon, on the evening of 27 May. Catherine Duclaux, a French national and a Regional Finance Delegate in Yaoundé, had to go to a pharmacy last night to get medicine for her one month old baby when she was attacked and stabbed in the chest. With the help of bystanders, Catherine was rushed to a hospital where she died before a surgery could be performed.  (1 expat, killed)  [IFRC]

12 May 2001 - INDIA: Three Indian Red Cross volunteers were killed in the early hours of May 12 when the car they were travelling in, hit a truck that had been abandoned on an unlit road on the far edge of the Little Rann in Gujarat's Kutch province. The three men, Rugnesh Uttakumar  Geewala, Anand Shukla and Kalpesh Patel, were part of a team of eight volunteers from Gujarat's Ahmedabad and Anand branches carrying out a spectacle distribution among rural communities following January's devastating earthquake. (3 locals, crash)  [IFRC]

9 May 2001 - SUDAN:  A Danish co-pilot of a plane chartered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was killed Wednesday over southern Sudan when the aircraft was hit by projectiles of unknown origin. The co-pilot, Ericksen Ole Friis, 26, was killed immediately, after being struck in the head by a projectile which passed through the fuselage. The nature and origin of the projectile, one of at least three to hit the plane, could not be immediately established. The pilot managed to turn back and land the plane at Lokichokio in northern Kenya, a base used by humanitarian organisations operating in southern Sudan.  ICRC had leased the plane from a Danish company, Aviation Assistance, and it flew from Lokichokio to Khartoum every Wednesday, via Juba and Wau, two government garrison towns in areas otherwise occupied by the rebel Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA). (1 expat, aircraft attack) [ICRC]

8 May 2001 - MADAGASCAR:  Jose Rakotonan Ahary, a local staff working for UNDP was shot and killed in Antananarivo on 8 May.   (1 local killed)

26 April 2001 – DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: Six ICRC staff were killed in Ituri province, in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The members of the ICRC team, who were travelling in two vehicles marked with the Red Cross emblem, were on an assignment to bring assistance to the region when they were killed by unidentified assailants.  The team comprised two women and four men: Rita Fox, 36, a Swiss nurse from Bern; Véronique Saro, 33, a Congolese national; Julio Delgado, 54, a Colombian relief delegate; Unen Ufoirworth, 29, a Congolese employee of the ICRC tracing agency; and drivers Aduwe Boboli, 39, and Jean Molokabonge, 56, both Congolese nationals.   (2 expats, 4 locals ambush) [ICRC]

6 April 2001 - FRY, KOSOVO:  One aid worker was killed, another injured, in an incident involving a cluster bomb unit in Kosovo, the UN Mine Action Coordination Center in the province has reported.  The two Halo Trust staff members were working in Grebnik in western Kosovo when the incident occurred on 6 April. The injured worker remains in hospital today. Halo Trust says that the problem of contamination resulting from NATO cluster bomb strikes remains a major problem in the area.   (1 local, landmine) [UN DPI]

27 March 2001 - DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: A UNHCR staff member, Mr. Nsakara Tshiama, a driver in UNHCR's office in the western D.R. Congo town of  Kimpese, was shot and killed on 27 March by armed men who stole his vehicle in western Democratic Republic of Congo.  Authorities told UNHCR that the killing took place at 11:20 in the morning in Kimpese, near D.R. Congo's border with Angola. Witnesses said Mr. Tshiama was alone in a UNHCR vehicle when he was stopped by four uniformed men in another car. Two of the uniformed men demanded the UNHCR vehicle and then shot Mr. Tshiama twice in the back. Severely wounded, he died later at Kimpese hospital. The assailants were last seen driving the UNHCR vehicle north towards Kinshasa.  (1 local, ambush) [UNHCR]

14 January 2001 - MONGOLIA: A helicopter carrying four U.N. disaster relief officials crashed in Mongolia on 14 January, killing nine people, including five foreigners. The Russian-made MI-8 helicopter spun out of control about 50 meters (165 feet) off the ground, crashed and exploded in flames at 12:30 p.m., near Malchin in Mongolia's northwestern corner, about 960 kilometers (600 miles) from the capital, Ulan Bator. The crash took the lives of UN team members Sabine Metzner-Strack (OCHA) of Germany,  Matthew Girvin (UNICEF) of the United States, Gerard Le Claire (OCHA) of the United Kingdom, and B. Bayarmar (UNFPA) of Mongolia. Also killed were a member of the Mongolian Parliament and two other Mongolians -- a photographer and a helicopter technician -- as well as a two-person crew from the Japanese NHK television network. Fourteen people were injured, 10 of them critically.  An investigation later blamed the accident of human error and overloading the Mongolian Airlines (MIAT) helicopter by nearly 900 kg as its pilots tried to land on a steep snowy slope in a mountainous area,   (6 expats, 3 locals. Accident)  [UN DPI]

CHRONOLOGY OF HUMANITARIAN AID WORKERS KILLED IN 2000

28 December 2000 - BURUNDI: Charlotte Wilson, 27, who was working with Britain's Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), was among 21 people killed after rebels opened fire on a tourist bus and two other vehicles on Burundi's main road near the capital Bujumburaon 28 December. The bus was travelling from the Rwandan capital Kigali to Bujumbura when it was ambushed. Witnesses said almost all the victims had survived the initial ambush but were then executed one by one, including Wilson, who worked as a VSO teacher in neighbouring Rwanda. [REUTERS]

20 December 2000 - SUDAN:  A national staff, Juma Manoa, working for Norwegian Church Aid and a nurse, Simon Alier working for the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association (SRRA)  were killed in an ambush while driving between Chukudum and Ikotos in the Eastern Equatoria region of southern Sudan.  They had earlier taken a patient urgently in need of emergency surgical operation from Ikotos to Chukudum. [Norwegian Church Aid]

6 December 2000 - GUINEA:  Faya Leno, 28, a Guinean security guard for the American Refugee Committee (ARC) was killed on 6 December along with his wife, Mariam in the southwestern town of Guéckédou. The bodies of Leno and his wife were found near an ARC guesthouse in Guéckédou on December 6 after a night of fighting. Seven ARC expatriate staff who had been based in the town of Kissidougou have been evacuated to Conakry, while 24 of the more than 100 local and refugee staff in Guéckédou and Kissidougou have moved to several secure locations. [American Refugee Committee]  On 9 January 2001, UNHCR confirmed that radio operator Joseph Loua was missing since the 6 December attack on Gueckedou.  Parts of the UNHCR compound were destroyed but all other UNHCR staff managed to escape unscathed. In the initial confusion following the attack, the whereabouts of Mr. Loua were not clear. But a subsequent inquiry by UNHCR security officials revealed that he had been abducted by the attackers. Mr. Loua is a Guinean national and a resident of Gueckedou.  He was released on 22 January 2001.  [UNHCR]

4 December 2000 - SUDAN: Mr Abendigo Asiel, an ICRC Sudanese employee, 40 years old, working in an ICRC primary health care unit in Lakakedu (Yirol county - south-Sudan) died on the 4th of December as a result of an aerial bombing. The incident happened 500 meters from the health post and resulted in one more person killed and four wounded. [IRIN-CEA]

4 November 2000 - SUDAN: Mr Kurth Gathoth Ruei employed by WHO on a Special Services Agreement (SSA) was killed in Maiwut, South Sudan on 4 November 2000.

17 September 2000 - GUINEA: Mr. Mensah Kpognon, 50, head of the field office in the Guinean town of Macenta for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), was shot and killed overnight 16-17 September when armed raiders attacked the border town about 70 kms east of Guéckédou along the border with Liberia.. It is the third attack on the Macenta region in the past 12 months. It is at least the fourth cross-border attack into Guinea this month. UNHCR staff member Sapeu Laurence Djeya, a Cote d'Ivoire national, was abducted by the attackers, but was later released with the aid of the Liberian Government.  [UNHCR]

6 September 2000 -  INDONESIA, WEST TIMOR:  Three International staff of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) were killed in a brutal mob attack in Atambua, West Timor. A mob of militia-led people opposed to East Timor independence had attacked the victims with machetes and the UNHCR office was burnt. The three UNHCR staff members were Samson Aregahegn from Ethiopia, Carlos Caceres–Callaz of the United States, and Pero Simundza of Croatia. [UNHCR]

18 August 2000 - DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO:  UNDP staff member, Joseph Cornerford of the United Kingdom, was found dead in his room in the eastern town of Kisangani.. The deceased was part of a group sent to Kisangani in advance of a UN assessment team that was to determine the degree of damage caused by armed conflict between Rwanda and Uganda in that town. Cause of death was not immediately determined.  [IRIN]

17 August 2000 - BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA:   Two deminers and a policeman were killed in a tragic landmine accident while trying to retrieve the corpses of two fishermen who had been killed in an earlier landmine accident. The accidents occurred in a tunnel between Gorazde and Rogatica about 80 km east of Sarajevo. The two deminers worked for HELP, a German NGO engaged in humanitarian demining since 1997. The two specialists - one Swedish and the other Serbian -- worked for demining organizations that report to the Mine Action Centre of the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH). The police officer, a Serb, was from the local force.[UN DPI]

5 August 2000 - AFGHANISTAN:   Seven people working for the United Nations mine-clearing programme in Afghanistan have been killed and one seriously wounded in an ambush. The attack took place on 5 August on a mountain road in the western province of Herat, near the town of Kotal-e-Subzak. The mine-clearance workers - all Afghans working for OMAR, a demining agency implementing UN projects - were travelling from Badghis province to Herat when their two vehicles came under fire.[UN DPI]

9 July 2000 - DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO:  A local health center supervisor was killed and two others working for International Medical Corps were wounded in an attack on an aid group conducting a three-day polio vaccination campaign. The group's vehicle was stopped at a checkpoint 15 kilometers north of Uvira and surrounded by a band of unknown assailants. The vehicle escaped and drove back to Uvira. [International Medical Corps]

28 June 2000 - IRAQ:   Two employees of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) were shot dead and several others injured by a gunman in a two-hour standoff at its Baghdad headquarters on Wednesday, UN officials said. In the shootout, Yusuf Abdilleh, an administrative officer from Somalia, and Marwean Mohammed Hassan, an Iraqi database operator, were killed and six people, most of them local security guards, were injured. The incident lasted around two hours before the gunman surrendered to Iraqi security officers. [UN DPI/Food and Agriculture Organization]

26 June 2000 - BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA:  Two mine experts were killed on 26 June when an anti-tank mine exploded during a clearance operation at the village of Vrela, in northwestern Bosnia, the Serbian news agency SRNA reported. The victims were employed by the United Nations' Mines Action Centre (MAC) in the Serbian part of Bosnia, close to the inter-entity border with the Muslim Croat Federation. [AFP]

10 June 2000 - ANGOLA:   Luis Felipe Gomes, Chief Nurse of Belize Municipal Hospital in Angola, was killed on 10 June. The 30-year-old medical worker was serving on the front line of the intense UNICEF/WHO sponsored global campaign to eradicate polio for all time by reaching children in still-endemic areas wracked by conflict. Investigations are ongoing to determine who was responsible for the killing. [UNICEF]

6 June 2000 - SOMALIA:  A German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) international staff member, Dieter Krasemann, was killed, by knife, in Burao by a person believed to have mental health problems. Mr. Krasemann was in Burao conducting humanitarian activities. The suspect has been arrested. [Somalia Aid Coordination Body]

20 May 2000 - AFGHANISTAN:   A UN field worker and members of his family were killed in an aerial bombing by the Taliban of the opposition-controled town of Taloqan in the northeastern Afghan province of Takhar. Bashir Ahmad of the United Nations supported Comprehensive Disabled Afghans Programme, part of the UNDP programme in Afghanistan, implemented by the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan in Takhar. A bomb landed directly on Ahmad's house, in the room in which his children were sleeping, killing him and six of his seven children. Although severely injured, Mrs. Ahmad and her sole surviving child, a six-year-old daughter, are recovering in Taloqan provincial hospital. [UN OCHA]

9  May 2000 - KOSOVO:   Petar Topoljski, age 25, who worked for the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) Pristina Regional Administration, has been found murdered. UNMIK police, following indications he may have been kidnapped, mounted a search operation when Mr. Topoljski disappeared from his office a week ago. The body found was in the village of Rimaniste (42° 46'02"  N,  21°11'54" E), northeast of Pristina and identified on 16 May. [UNMIK]

 2 April 2000 - DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO:  A local worker for the US humanitarian organization International Rescue Committee (IRC) was shot dead early on 2 April in the far eastern town of Uvira in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The killer or killers discarded the body and made off with the vehicle, which was found six kilometers (four miles) away near the city cemetery, stripped of its radio communication equipment. [AFP]

27 March 2000 - SUDAN:  Lino Ofire, a driver for Norwegian Church Aid, was killed in an ambush while driving a group of  Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association (SRRA) relief workers from Bira to Lotome in the Eastern Equatoria region of southern Sudan.  The group had been conducting a polio vaccination campaign in the region.  The SRRA members were wounded, but managed to escape and survive.  [Norwegian Church Aid]

4 March 2000 - RWANDA :   A UN volunteer working for WFP in Rwanda, Samuel Sargbah, was shot dead at about 21:00 hrs local time by an unknown assailant while sitting in his car in Rwanda's capital Kigali. Sargbah, a Liberian national, was the third WFP worker killed in Rwanda since 1997. [WFP]

7 February 2000 - ETHIOPIA:  On Monday February 7, 2000, at 3pm local time, an Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF) vehicle carrying a team from the organization (one national staff, one expatriate and one passenger) was attacked in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia. The MSF car was on its way from Jijiga to Degah Bur town when a group of ten heavily armed men jumped out of the bush and opened fire on the vehicle. The driver (not an MSF employee) was killed on the spot. The expatriate received one bullet in the chest and another bullet in the side. The third person, the brother of the driver, had a superficial wound. [MSF]

24 January 2000 - ANGOLA:   Three Angolans working for a British charity have been killed and two others seriously injured in an armed attack in the southern Huila province. The workers, from the Halo Trust, were travelling on a stretch of road  near the town of Quilengues, 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) south of the capital Luanda, when the attack occurred. Neither the identity of the attackers nor the nature of the aggression were clear. The two injured workers were taken for treatment to Huambo, 600 kilometres (360 miles) south of Luanda.  [AFP]

13 January 2000 - SUDAN:   Eight aid workers were killed in southern Sudan when their vehicle was set ablaze, apparently by rebels from Uganda, a Norwegian relief group said on Friday. "There were 11 people in the vehicle and seven died immediately, while another died this morning," Norwegian Church Aid said.  Two of them were workers from Norwegian Church Aid, named as Kenyan Simon Kenyatta and Sudanese nurse Esther Mania. The other workers also were from church-linked aid groups -- one from Africa Inland Church, three from Episcopal churches in Sudan. The other two were from the Sudanese Relief and Rehabilitation Association, the humanitarian arm of the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) rebel group. The ambush occured near the village of  Parajok near the Ugandan border.  [REUTERS]

2 January 2000 - SOMALIA:  A local employee of the aid agency CARE International, Shueb Mohamed Hussein, was shot and killed in an ambush by a gang in a Somali town, near Balad, 35 kilometres (20 miles) north of Mogadishu, after he left the capital to assess rehabilitation projects in the Middle Shabelle region. [AFP]

2 January 2000 - SUDAN: Two Sudanese employees of the U.S.-based relief agency CARE International were killed in an ambush in southern Sudan and two are missing, an official of the agency. The official named the dead men as Ibrahim Ishak, head of Care International's office in Bentiu, capital of oil-rich Unity State, and his driver Mekki al-Kheir, both northerners. The team from CARE International was subjected to an armed attack by rebels as it travelled from the town of Bentiu to Mayom with the aim of opening a health centre in the town.  On March 9,  the two men missing since January 2 in Sudan. Kwaq Makwaq, a CARE employee, and Santino Deng, a consultant, were found unharmed and in good health . [CARE]

CHRONOLOGY OF HUMANITARIAN AID WORKERS KILLED IN 1999.

12 November 1999 - KOSOVO (FRY):  All 24 passengers aboard a WFP plane were killed when the plane crashed on its daily flight from Rome, Italy to Pristina, Kosovo.  The wreckage was located by international Kosovo Force (KFOR) troops 27 kilometers (17 miles) north of the province's capital of Pristina and 12 km (7 miles) from the northern city of Mitrovica..  The passengers primarily worked for international and humanitarian organizations, including WFP, UNMIK, UNV, the Canadian Government, Caritas, GOAL, Gruppo Volontariato Civile, International Crisis Group, Tearfund,  Terre des Hommes, AiBi,  and Boyden.  In addition, three crew members were killed. Victims included 12 Italians, three Spaniards, two Britons and seven people of other nationalities. (24 expats, accident)  [WFP]

7 November 1999 – KENYA:  A United Nations official was shot dead at his Kariobangi South home in Nairobi.  Mr. Ezekiel Abanga, 36, a security officer at the UN, was shot in the neck, back of the head and chest by an unidentified assailant.  (1 local killed)

31 October 1999 – CHECHNYA, RUSSIA:  Mr. Aslanbek Barzaiev and Mr. Rouslan Betelgeriev,  two Russian Red Cross workers were killed in an air attack on a humanitarian convoy.  A convoy of vehicles, among them vehicles from the Chechen branch of the Russian Red Cross, came under fire near the village of Chami Yurt, 20 km west of Grozny, on the main road between Nazran and Grozny. Military operations were in progress in the area. According to local Red Cross sources, the five vehicles, all of which were clearly marked with the red cross emblem (the truck displayed a red cross on its roof) were returning to Grozny from the Ingush border, which it had been unable to cross.  According to the same sources, a rocket fired from an aircraft hit the truck, killing two Red Cross workers and seriously wounding a third. A number of nearby vehicles also came under fire, resulting in the death of at least 25 persons and injuring 70 more.  (2 local aerial bombing) [ICRC]

12 October 1999 – KOSOVO (FRY):  Valentin Krumov, 38, was shot and killed in Kosovo Monday night, after arriving only a few hours earlier in Kosovo to join UNMIK's civil administration branch.   Mr. Krumov was walking with two other newly arrived UNMIK staff members in the centre of Kosovo's capital, Pristina, when he was shot and killed, just after 9 p.m. Monday evening. Krumov, from Bulguria,  was strolling after dinner with colleagues on Mother Theresa street when he "apparently responded in the Serbian language to a question from a group of passers-by who had asked him for the time. A crowd of ethnic Albanians assaulted him and took him 50 meters (yards) away wherre someone shot him dead.  (1 expat killed) [UN DPI]

12 October 1999 -  BURUNDI:  The UNICEF Representative to Burundi, Mr. Luis Zuniga and the Chief WFP Logistics Officer, Ms. Saskia Von Meijenfeldt,  were killed when a UN team was ambushed during a  routine assessment visit to a displaced persons camp  in the southeast part of the country.  The camp, Muziye, is located in the Rutana province, near the border with Tanzania.  (2 expats, killed) [UN]

15 September 1999 – SOMALIA:  A UNICEF doctor, Dr. Ayub Sheikh Yerow was wounded on the evening of 15 September while travelling by road on a planning assignment for the October  National Immunization Day to vaccinate approximately one million children in Somalia.  Dr. Ayub died on 16 September from the gun shot wound in a North Mogadishu hospital.  (1 local killed)  [UNICEF]

14 September 1999 – SOMALIA:  Farah Ali Gurhan, the administrator of the Dutch aid agency, MEMISA aid agency, was among 10 people killed when rival factions fought for the control of the southern town Garbaharey.   (1 local killed) [AFP]

31 August  1999 - INDONESIA, EAST TIMOR:  A local CARE  worker, Jose dos Reis, aged 23, was reported missing on 30 August.  In  December 1999, his corpse was discovered in a crude grave behind the house of a militia commander in the town of Hera, just outside Dili.   Dos Reis had been involved in CARE's food distribution programme.  He disappeared when he tried to ride his motorcycle to the eastern coastal town of Manatuto at the time of the August 30 vote on East Timor's future.  (1 local, ambush)  [AFP]

16 July 1999: ANGOLA - An ambush in the northern Angolan province of Uije on a convoy of 80 lorries, including lorries carrying food and relief supplies, left as many as 60 dead or missing, the Portuguese agency LUSA reported. Of those killed or missing, 54 were civilians and six police officers.  The attack, thought to have been carried out by  UNITA rebel movement, occured on 16 July at a junction linking the road for Lukala to Samba-Caju, about 400 kilometres (250 miles) east of the capital Luanda. Two lorries belonging to the aid agency Caritas were destroyed during the attack. The attack was reported in Luanda on 19 July, but no details of casualties were given. (Number of aid workers killed unknown)  [AFP]

14 June 1999 – ANGOLA:  Two humanitarian workers were killed and two others wounded when armed men wearing uniforms of the UNITA rebel movement ambushed the vehicle of a Portuguese aid agency conducting a polio vaccination campaign. The relief workers, in clearly identified vehicles, were ambushed while carrying out a polio eradication campaign in Barraca, Bengo Province, some 80 km east of Luanda, the nation's capital.  The driver and a nurse were killed, and two other nurses were wounded. All were Angolan nationals working for the Portuguese NGO, Instituto Portugues de Medicina Preventiva.  (2 locals ambushed)  [PANA]

18 May 1999 - SUDAN:  Unidentified assailants attacked a Nile river boat bringing relief aid to southern Sudan Tuesday, killing the co-pilot of the barge, and wounding  two of the 21 people aboard, including  a Kenyan working for the UN World Food Programme (WFP) who was shot in the leg, and a Sudanese crew member who was shot in the back. The barge was abandoned in a remote marshy area of the White Nile near the town of Adok, in Unity State, also known as Western Upper Nile. [AFP]

27 April 1999 -  AFGHANISTAN:  An ICRC Security Guard, Mr. Abdul Rahim, was killed during an air raid close to an ICRC warehouse in Jabul Saraj, some 60 km north of Kabul.  (1 local aerial bombing) [ICRC]

22 April 1999 – SOMALIA: A veterinarian working with the Italian NGO, Terra Nuova, was kidnapped on Friday in the town of Hagar by an armed militia whose identity is as yet unknown.   On 23 April, it was announced that the aid worker had been killed.  (1 local killed)  [UN OCHA]

19 April 1999 – ALBANIA:  David B. McCall, his wife Penny McCall and Yvette Pierpaoli  of Refugees International were killed in a car accident on the road heading towards Kukes, Albania. Their Albanian driver was also killed. They were heading from Tirana, the capital, to Kukes, the primary reception point for Kosovar refugees, when their car apparently slid off the mountain road in bad weather.  (3 expats accident)  [Refugees International]

14 April 1999 – ANGOLA:  Five NGO staff were killed when their NGO vehicle was ambushed while on mission to Sumbe, Kwanza Sul province.. The names of the victims (all Angolan nationals) belonging to Humanitarian NGOs are as follows:  Antonio Garcia Ferreira (SCF-US), Ernesto Samuel Queta  (SCF-US),  Walter Joaquim Reais (OIKOS), Narciso Kwambela Xavier (ASSOCIAÇÃO CRISTÃ DA MOCIDADE) and Manuel Gabriel (ASSOCIAÇÃO CONGREGACIONAL CRISTÃ DE ANGOLA)  (5 locals ambush)  [UN DPI]

1 April 1999 – SUDAN:  On 18 February, an ICRC/Sudanese Red Crescent team on a mission near the southern           Sudanese town of Bentiu inadvertently strayed into territory held by the SPLM/A. The four Sudanese and two ICRC expatriates were captured. On 12 March, the two ICRC expatriates  were released. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been informed that a Sudanese Red Crescent worker and three government officials who had accompanied an ICRC team in southern Sudan have been killed while detained by the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) despite SPLA "assurances" that they would be released unharmed."  (4 locals ambush)  [ICRC]

20 March 1999 – SOMALIA:  Deena M. Umbarger, 36, a consultant for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) was killed Saturday, (Mar.20) in Kenya. UMCOR is the disaster relief arm of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.  Ms. Umbarger flew from Nairobi, Kenya to the area bordering Somalia to meet with town leaders in Kiumigio, a border town running from Kenya to Somalia. She was having tea with town elders when a gunman opened fire on the group.  (1 expat killed)  [UMCOR]

27 January 1999 – SOMALIA:  Unidentified gunmen in southern Somalia shot and killed a Kenyan expatriate working for the Italian aid agency Terra Nuova.   Manmohan Singh Bhogal was gunned down near Garbeharey district of the Gedo region on Tuesday, they said. Terra Nuova, which specialises in providing veterinary services, has
been working mainly in southern Somalia's Gedo, Middle and Lower Juba regions. (1 expat killed) [AFP]

26 January 1999 – SIERRA LEONE: A Sierra Leonean employee of the Irish aid agency Concern has been killed by rebels in the capital Freetown. Taiwu Kamara, age 30, was trying to flee his house which rebels had set on fire when he was killed.   (1 local killed)  [UNHCR]

5 January 1999 - SOMALIA:  Gunmen shot and killed a driver and a security guard working for the international aid agency  CARE in south Mogadishu. The driver, Ali Abdi Heyle, and the guard, Ali Heyle Gutale, were attacked as they drove along Lenin Road. They died on the spot. A woman passenger in the car was slightly hurt in the attack. It was not immediately clear if the attack was specifically aimed at CARE, which provides humanitarian aid to many Somalis and funds rehabilitation programmes despite insecurity in Mogadishu.   (2 locals killed)  [AFP]

2 January 1999 - ANGOLA:  The C-130 chartered by the UN observer mission to Angola (MONUA) was shot down soon after take-off from Huambo on January 2. The plane was returning to Luanda after transporting emergency rations to Huambo in south-central Angola.  The wreckage was found in an area 17 to 20 kilometres north east of Huambo. The United Nations World Food Programme confirmed the death of one of its Angolan staff members, Pedro Moreira, who was among the nine passengers and crew of the UN-chartered C-130 plane that crashed in the central highlands of Angola.  [WFP]

CHRONOLOGY OF HUMANITARIAN AID WORKERS KILLED IN 1998

Below is a list of the forty-eight employees of the United Nations or humanitarian organizations who died in violent incidents in 1998, compiled by the U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. If you are aware of other such incidents in 1998, please respond to this message.  In 1997, twenty-five UN and humanitarian workers were reported killed.

26 December 1998: ANGOLA - A U.N. transport plane, carrying 14 people: 10 UN personnel (8 of them UN international staff) and 4 crew, was shot down and crashed in Angola's central highland.  The Hercules C-130 transport plane was on a humanitarian mission,  taking U.N. Observer Mission in Angola (MONUA) officials from Huambo to
Saurimo in northeast Angola. On 8 January 1999, the wreckage was found with all passengers killed in the crash.  (8 expats, 4 locals)  [UN DPI]

23 December 1998: ANGOLA -  A nurse, identified as Mateus, was killed on December 23, during the shelling of the
central Angolan cities of Huambo and Bié. Mateus was a local employee of the health center in Huambo, which works with an ADRA supported project.  [ADRA]

27 November 1998: ANGOLA - A United Nations World Food Programme convoy was attacked in southwestern Angola yesterday, leaving two dead and one wounded. The 30-vehicle convoy, carrying 400 metric tonnes of food under United Nations MONUA escort, was on its way north from Lubango, the capital of Huila province, when it was ambushed at 6:15 a.m. about 14 kilometers outside of the town of Cacula   The attack came against the middle of the column and hit a truck owned by a commercial transport firm under contract to WFP. The operator and the driver were killed during the first wave of shooting, while one of the two driver's assistants was injured.  [WFP]

27 November 1998: AFGHANISTAN -  The United Nations World Food Programme learned that a WFP staff member was killed in August in the city of Bamyan, in Afghanistan. Sayed Essa, an Afghan national working as a WFP warehouse guard, was shot and killed in August when he tried to escape advancing Taliban forces that invaded the city on 13 September. [WFP]

14 November 1998: ANGOLA - A World Food Programme local staff member in Angola, Mr. Elias Sayala, was shot
and killed this weekend while on duty in the town of Kuito. Mr. Sayala, 38, died after being fired on by an unknown assassin at 11:30 PM Saturday, 14 November, while on duty at a WFP warehouse in Kuito, the capital of Angola 's Bié
province. [WFP]

30 September 1998: FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA - An International Red Cross doctor was killed and three members of his team wounded when their car hit a landmine in Kosovo  The blast near Likovac about 30 km (20 miles) west of Pristina hurled the vehicle on to its roof. Sheptim Robaj, an anaesthetist from Pristina was killed and another Yugoslav doctor identified as Ilir Tolaj was seriously injured.  Two women Red Cross workers, New Zealander Maggie Bryson and Linda Bunjaku, a Yugoslav, were injured. [Reuters]

18 September 1998: ANGOLA - The United Nations said on Friday that an Angolan employee of the Michigan-based Dyna Corp was killed in an ambush of a U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) convoy east of Luanda, the capital. Three other Angolan employees of Dyna, which provides general support services to WFP, such as drivers, were injured and evacuated to Luanda on Thursday. The dead man had burned to death when his vehicle was set on fire. [Reuters]

16 September 1998: ANGOLA - One MONUA driver was killed and several others wounded in an attack on a WFP convoy. In a separate incident, WFP convoy leader Antonio Martinho Concalves was killed in a recent road accident in Huila province while returning to Lubango from making a food delivery to newly displaced people in Caconda. (2 locals, ambush) [WFP]

24 July 1998:  BURUNDI -  An Italian U.N. staff member for the World Food Programme was killed in the Burundi capital of Bujumbura when three bandits broke into his home and shot him. The victim was identified as Renato Ricciardi, who had worked for the United Nations for 27 years, 17 of them for WFP. [WFP]

20 July 1998: AFGHANISTAN -  The bodies of two UN employees working in Jalalabad, Afghanistan were found after being abducted on 13 July. The victims were Mohammad Hashim Bahsaryar, 55, of WFP and Mohammed Nazir Habibi, 49, of UNHCR, both employed in Jalalabad. Witnesses reported the men were hustled into a red pickup truck on 13 July in front of Jalalabad University while waiting for a UN vehicle to transport them to work. WFP and UNHCR immediately tried to locate them and contacted the local Taliban governor, but the body of the WFP employee was found on 18 July in a river in Beshud district on the outskirts of Jalalabad. The body of the UNHCR employee was found 19 July near Tokham, Lamipour District, near the border with Pakistan. [WFP]

17 July 1998: SOMALIA -  A UN World Food Programme convoy in south Mogadishu was attacked. One security guard was killed on the spot, and another died of his wounds, while five guards were wounded. Four of the attackers were killed and several wounded, said Brenda Barton, WFP's regional spokeswoman in Nairobi.

11 July 1998: BURUNDI - On July 11, a local agronomist employed by the NGO Austrian Relief Programme, ARP, was killed during an ambush on her vehicle on RN 9 in Bubanza's Gihanga commune.  Her driver disappeared and is also feared dead. [IRIN]

7 July 1998: UGANDA - William Asiku, a Ugandan national working as a driver for WFP in the northern Uganda town of Arua, was driving back from WFP's office in Pakelle on Wednesday afternoon, when 12 heavily armed men suddenly appeared on the road with a rocket propelled grenade launcher and stopped the clearly marked WFP vehicle. The men ordered Asiku, and another passenger traveling in the car with him, out of the vehicle and proceeded to rob them. The passenger managed to escape and ran to seek help. The men then dragged Asiku to the side of the car and opened fire on him, killing him immediately. They then blew-up the vehicle. [WFP]

29 June 1998:  ANGOLA -  UN Special Representative in Angola,  Alioune Blondin Beye. and five other UN colleagues accompanying him -- Koffi Adjoyi, Beadengar Dessande, Moctar Gueye, Ibikunle Williams and Captain Alvaro Costa, and the two pilots, Jason Hunter and Andrew McCurrach, were killed in an airplane crash in Angola.  [UN DPI]

10 June 1998: SUDAN -  Three Sudanese aid workers employed by the World Food Programme (WFP) and the local Red Crescent were shot dead during a mission in Sudan. On Tuesday 9 June, a Sudanese Red Crescent (SRC) worker, Magboul Mamoun, and two employees of the World Food Programme, El Haj Ali Hammad and Sumain Samson Ohiri
were killed in an ambush in the Nuba Mountains, 50 kilometres southeast of Kadugli. The three men were part of a relief convoy - travelling in UN-marked trucks - on their way  back to Kadugli from a food distribution in Erri village. During the ambush by a group of armed men who opened fire on the vehicles, three other SRC staff were injured. The  injured are being treated in hospital in Khartoum. [IFRC]

24 April 1998: BURUNDI -  Bent Moeller Nielsen, ADRA country director for Burundi, was shot and killed by armed bandits in the capital, Bujumbura, on April 22. Nielsen had reportedly just dropped off a colleague when he was attacked. He was shot and killed and his vehicle was stolen. [ADRA]

07 April 1998: SUDAN -  At least 11 killed in bomb incident in South Sudan Yei Hospital was bombed this morning, between 10:50 AM and 11:10AM, by Government of Sudan airplanes. Thirteen bombs were directed at Yei Hospital - which is supported by the Norwegian People's Aid (NPA). So far eleven (11) people have been found killed as a consequence of the attack. One of the killed was a local employee of the NPA. [NPA]

22 March 1998: SIERRA LEONE - Mr Denis Momoh, a Sierra Leonean ICRC staff member was killed during continuing fighting near the town of Segbwema.  Mr Momoh was killed in an exchange of artillery fire between ECOMOG forces and the AFRC/RUF (Armed Forces Revolutionary Council / Revolutionary United Front) on Sunday 22 March. One of his children was also killed in the shelling.  [ICRC]

12 March 1998: RWANDA - Three Action for Churches Together (ACT)/Lutheran World Federation (LWF) staff members have been killed in Rwanda. They died in an armed assault near the border with Tanzania during the night, March 11-12, on the compound of a Resettlement project for returnee Tutsi refugees. A number of other staff members were injured.  [ACT]

12 Janury 1998: DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO – An ICRC driver, Mr. Sylvain Mutombo, was murdered in Kinshasa when gunmen stole the ICRC vehicle.  [ICRC]

10 January 1998: SRI LANKA – Mr. Gnapiragasam Thimoty Raveenthiran, working as a night watchman at the ICRC sub-delegation in Vavuniya, was murdered when the sub-delegation’s offices were robbed and ransacked. [ICRC]

CHRONOLOGY OF HUMANITARIAN WORKERS KILLED IN 1997

1 Dec.1997: TAJIKISTAN - Karine Mane, who worked for the Tajik bureau of AVICEN, a non-governmental organisation that provides health care for street children,  was fatally wounded when her abductors set off a grenade to kill themselves and their hostage. Five kidnappers died. Her companion, Franck Janier-Dubry, who worked for the European aid programme TACIS, was released unhurt  in a security operation a few hours earlier. (1 expat, killed) [Reuters]

22 Nov. 1997:  CONGO - A Congolese Red Cross volunteer, Mr Makoundou Landri Silvert, was killed and two others were wounded in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo, on Saturday 22 November. They were travelling  aboard an ICRC truck together with some 50 other volunteers who had been helping to unload humanitarian
aid supplies dispatched from Kinshasa and intended for distribution to the returning inhabitants of the Congolese capital.   (1 local ambush)  [ICRC]

22 Oct. 1997: RWANDA -- A WFP driver transporting emergency relief food for the United Nations World Food Programme in Rwanda was killed during an attack by unknown assailants at a military checkpoint. The WFP truck was part of a military-escorted relief food convoy which was transporting WFP food rations from Kigali to Kibuye. The truck was then set on fire, resulting in the loss of 15 tons of humanitarian relief food which would have fed some 1,700 people for the next one month.  (1 local ambush) [WFP]

18 Oct. 1997: AFGHANISTAN - An Afghan employee of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was killed late on the afternoon of Saturday, 18 October.  Three ICRC vehicles were driving along the  Anchoy-Shibirgan road 200 kilometres west of the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif when it was caught in the crossfire of an armed clash. The driver of one of the  vehicles -- Mr Mohamed Bashir, a mechanic employed at the organization's Mazar-i-Sharif sub-delegation -- was hit by a stray bullet and killed instantly.   (1 local ambush)  [ICRC]

23 October 1997: ANGOLA -  Five people including two workers for a German non-governmental organization were killed in an ambush on a convoy by some 20 armed men in southwestern Angola, 200 meters from Bolonguera
commune and 65 Km from Chongoroi town. The two members of the Santa Barbara NGO were Tom Sauber, a German, and Rayson  Medecine Pongweni, from Zimbabwe. Two Angolan police, one member of the Bolonguera Administration and an Angolan paramedic were also killed  on 23 October, while two MONUA CIVPOL officers were wounded. [AFP]  [UN DHA]

23 October 1997: ANGOLA - On 23 October, a WFP contracted driver was killed in an ambush, around 3 km from theLobito/Bocoio road junction. Armed men ambushed a civilian car which was returning from Lobito where it had collected a spare part for one of the civilian trucks rented by WFP as  part of a relief convoy and which had broken down between Culango and Bocoio localities. (1 local, ambush) [UN DHA]

24 Sept. 1997:  ETHIOPIA - Two local UN World Food  Programme (WFP) staff members were shot dead last  week in Ethiopia's southeastern Ogaden region in an apparent robbery attempt.   (2 locals killed) [WFP]

12 Sept. 1997: DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO - A chartered plane carrying two aid officials from the NGO Food for the Hungry International (FHI) and 20 local religious leaders to a peace and reconciliation conference in Fizi, Congo, crashed in a remote area while trying to land. The plane was on its second approach to the runway at Ilundi, near Mulembe town, when it crashed into a hill and burst into flames.  All 22 on board were killed, including the two FHI staff: Adrian Sebagabo, executive secretary of FHI's office in Kigali, Rwanda, as well as pastor of Good Shepherd Church and the national director of  the Good Samaritan Prison Ministry, and Noah (Leonard) Garaway, an Israeli-American and the country director of FHI's work in Rwanda for most of 1996. [FHI]

06 Jul 1997: RWANDA- A World Vision staff member, Rudacyahwa Flicien, 42, was killed on 6 July when insurgents attacked his home village Ruhengeri in northwestern Rwanda (1 local killed) [WV]

19 Jun 1997: RWANDA - Mr. Felicien Bucyekabili, a driver for UNHCR, was killed in Kigombe Commune, Gashangoiro sector, 7 km from Ruhengeri town. Mr. Bucyekabili, was killed by unknown gunmen firing through the window of his residence. (1 local killed)  [UNHCR]

14 June 1997:  RWANDA - Mr.Didace Nkezagera, WFP Field Officer, was killed on the night of 14/15 June 1997, along with his wife, young child and member of his family in sector Rubange, commune of Kigombe, 8 km from Ruhengiri. In another incident, Mr. Jean de Dieu Murwanashyaka, a WFP tally clerk, was killed by a gunshot wound to the head after being arrested by two soldiers on 9 June 1997.   (2 locals killed) [WFP]

08 Jun 1997: RWANDA - World Vision Rwanda assistant agronomist, Appolinaire Uwamahirwe,was killed on 8 June when he was among a group of villagers attacked by insurgents near the northwestern town of Ruhengeri, some 60 kilometers (about 37 miles) from the capital Kigali.   (1 local killed)  [WV]

06 May 1997: SIERRA LEONE - A UN assessment team was ambushed on their drive back to Freetown. Mr. John Reignat, a locally recruited DHA driver for UN-HACU, was shot in the abdomen and died in the hospital in Makeni. Mr. Robert Painter, Chief of UN-HACU was shot in the ankle; Ms. Cathy Jones, Political Affairs Officer under SESG Dinka received superficial wounds from broken glasses of the vehicle, Mr. Ingo Wiederhoffer, World Bank Consultant, was unharmed   (1 local ambushed)  [UN DHA]

04 Feb 1997: RWANDA -  Four United Nations human rights monitors, Graham Turnbull, Sastra Chim Chan, Jean Bosco Muyaneza, and Agrippin Ngabo, were killed in an ambush in southwestern Rwanda.  The two international and two local staff were killed in an ambush in their two U.N. vehicles  in the Karengera sector of Cyangugu Province. (2 expats/ 2 locals  ambush) [UNHCHR]

02 Feb 1997: RWANDA -  A Canadian Roman Catholic priest, who condemned human rights abuses in Rwanda, was killed in northwestern Rwanda while performing  Mass.  (1 expat killed)  [Reuters]

19 Jan 1997: RWANDA -  Three Doctors of the World  personnel, Dr.Manuel Madrazo, Maria Flors Sirera, and Luis Valtuena, were killed and an American project coordinator, Nitin Madhav, was injured when their compound in Ruhengeri, Rwanda was attacked. All four people had been working on a health and reintegration assistance program in the Ruhengeri prefecture under the joint auspices of Doctors of the World and the organizations Spanish affiliate, Medicos del Mundo.  (3 expats killed)  [MDM]
 
 

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