Algiers attacks spark outrage from Security Council, General Assembly President

Algiers attacks spark outrage from Security Council, General Assembly President

Today’s deadly bombings in the Algerian capital have been strongly condemned by the Security Council and the President of the General Assembly, who said the bombings showed that terrorism is not only a threat to the values of the United Nations but to the actual work it carries out on the ground.

Echoing the condemnation by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of the twin blasts, which struck UN offices and a Government building in Algiers – causing dozens of deaths, including those of at least 11 UN staff, and numerous injuries – the Council underlined the need to bring those responsible to justice.

No one has so far claimed responsibility for the bombings, which destroyed the office of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) that also housed staff from a number of other UN agencies, and damaged the building used by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The 15-member body “expresses its deep sympathy and condolences to the victims of this heinous act of terrorism and their families, and to the people and the Government of Algeria,” it said through a statement read out by Ambassador Marcello Spatafora of Italy, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency for this month.

Also speaking out, Assembly President Srgjan Kerim expressed his grave concern that UN offices and staff were once again the deliberate targets of terror attacks. A bomb destroyed the world body’s Baghdad headquarters in August 2003, killing 22 people, including top envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello.

Today’s attack “clearly demonstrates that terrorism is a continuous and global challenge that knows no boundaries,” Mr. Kerim said in a statement issued by his spokesperson.

He added that the attacks “clearly demonstrate that terrorism is not only a threat to the values and principles of the United Nations, but a very concrete threat to its physical existence and actual work on the ground.”

Mr. Ban’s senior advisers have been dispatched to Algiers to investigate the bombing and determine how best to assist those affected.