Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Aid workers under attack

People sometimes forget how anyone can be fair game in a violent conflict...and aid workers, the people who try to help and put a smile on the face of the innocent people they are protecting, are no exception. In the last week, there have been several attacks and assassinations carried out by various thugs and terrorist groups operating in countries ranging from Africa to south Asia.

The latest example is an attack by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam against two ships carrying aid supplies to war-ravaged northern Sri Lanka. LTTE "suicide squads" rammed two motor boats packed with explosives into the vessels, damaging one and nearly sinking the other. The ruthless Tamil fighters are growing more violent as the fighting intensifies with the Sri Lankan government.

A UNHCR convoy rumbles through the countryside in Uganda

Earlier this week, aid worker Gayle Williams, a native of London, was gunned down by Taliban militants in Kabul. She was heading off to work when two men on a motorbike opened fire...the Taliban later claimed responsibility and boasted about her killing, saying the aid worker was "spreading Christianity", whatever that is supposed to mean. Williams' charity organization is now considering withdrawing from the country amidst the deteriorating security situation. I hope the Taliban feel proud of what they have done to the Afghan people and those who are trying to help them.

Also earlier this week, suspected rebels from the Al-Shabab insurgency in Somalia shot dead Muktar Mohamed Mohamoud, an engineer working for the children's organization, UNICEF, in front of a tea shop. The attack came after another worker from the world food program was killed as he stepped out of a Mosque in Mogadishu.

It is a tough, dangerous, and even life-threatening line of work, but someone needs to be there to make the world a better place...even when the rest of the civilized world is too afraid to do anything about it, or too ignorant to look past their own borders.

The children of Africa


Azadari said...

Many aid workers in the world do what they can to respect the culture's of the people they are serving. They are there to help, not to force their beliefs on other people.

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