UN honours its fallen heroes

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Memorial for fallen staff 2015. (UNTV video capture)

A hundred United Nations employees lost their lives in the line of duty in the past year, the Secretary-General deplored during a memorial service on Thursday.

Some staff members were directly targeted, Ban Ki-moon said, some were killed while protecting civilians, while others died in accidents or natural disasters.

He expressed "sadness" that direct attacks were becoming more frequent.

All died while performing their duties in difficult and dangerous circumstances, Mr Ban added.

"In the past year, UN staff members have been killed while working in Kabul. Two colleagues were targeted deliberately after getting off a plane at Galkayo airport in Somalia. And a UN Volunteer from Sudan who was treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone succumbed to the disease himself. These are just some of the fallen staff members we remember today."

The UN also paid tribute to 102 colleagues who died in the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti five years ago.

Meanwhile, the bravery of staff members allowed the UN to conduct life-saving humanitarian operations in Iraq and Syria.

They also helped respond to political and human rights crises in the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Mali and Ukraine, said Mr. Ban.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’28”


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