Kenya: UN officials condemn attacks against US, voice sympathy for victims

Kenya: UN officials condemn attacks against US, voice sympathy for victims

A top United Nations official in Kenya today condemned the "terrorist atrocities" against the United States and, on behalf of 23 UN agencies represented in Nairobi, expressed sympathy to the people and Government of the US and the families of the victims.

"These terrorist attacks in the United States have shocked the world, they have shocked me and they have shocked UN staff here in Kenya," Klaus Toepfer, Under Secretary-General and Director General of the UN Office at Nairobi, said in a statement.

Yesterday's attacks, he said, had brought back vivid and heart rending memories of the carnage caused in Kenya and Tanzania on 7 August 1998, when terrorist bombs were aimed at the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam, killing 224 people and injuring 4,000 more. "We here in Kenya have direct experience of the misery and grief caused by acts of thoughtless, cowardly, terrorist aggression," the statement said.

Mr. Toepfer offered his deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the victims of the disastrous events that included the attacks against the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the innocent victims and families who have suffered from these atrocities," he said. "Our thoughts are also with the doctors, nurses, firemen and women and members of the emergency services who have been dealing with the appalling consequences of these attacks. Our prayers are also with George Bush, the US President, and his Government."

"Those terrorists responsible must be caught and brought to trial to answer for these crimes against humanity," Mr. Toepfer said, adding that even though the acts of barbarism occurred on American soil, they were in fact an attack on civilization, democracy and freedom everywhere.

The heads and staff of the 23 UN agencies in Kenya, along with other members of the local and international community, will gather tomorrow at the UN compound in Nairobi for a ceremony in a Garden of Remembrance created in the wake of the 1998 attack. Tomorrow's gathering will show solidarity with the American people and sympathy for the families and victims of the attacks.