UN envoy condemns murder of relief worker in Afghanistan

30 March 2003

Lakhdar Brahimi, the senior United Nations envoy to Afghanistan, today strongly condemned the "brutal and callous killing" of Ricardo Munguia, a water supply engineer with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who was killed in the southern part of the country earlier this week.

Mr. Brahimi discussed the case with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other officials. "He conveyed to the President the expectation of the Secretary-General of the United Nations that the authorities will make every effort to find and bring to justice those responsible for this criminal act," UN spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva reported.

Accounts by witnesses indicate that Mr. Munguia was murdered because he was a foreigner. The spokesman pointed out that the late ICRC staffer was in Afghanistan to help the country's neediest civilians.

"Those who target humanitarian workers in such a manner are the enemies of the people of Afghanistan," Mr. de Almeida e Silva said. "Such an act is an affront to the religion, culture and tradition of this country."

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), he added, "takes note of the fact that the Government promptly deployed a large contingent of security forces to the area where this criminal act was perpetrated."

 

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