Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

UN Plane Crash in DRC, 32 Killed

IOL News March 5, 2011

Three South African men were among the 32 UN officials and peacekeepers killed when a plane crashed on landing in heavy rain in the Democratic Republic of Congo capital Kinshasa.

Only one person survived the crash in Kinshasa on Monday, UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq said at the world body’s headquarters.

The Department of International Relations and Co-operation confirmed that the sole survivor was not South African and that the three who died in the air crash were in the employ of the UN, but were not soldiers.

Of the 33 passengers, 20 were UN employees.

“The accident was caused by the rain,” she said. “The plane broke up completely. A part of the cockpit rolled along the ground for 800m.” The Fokker 100 aircraft burst into flames on crashing but firefighters managed to put out the fire quickly, aided by the heavy rains, she said.

Congo Crash Two Bangladeshi Army Die

Dhaka, Apr 5 (bdnews24.com) — Two Bangladeshi army men have been killed in a UN plane crash at the main airport of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in its capital.

The deceased were identified as Maj K M Ziaul Haque and corporal (clerk) Mohammad Yunus Mia.

`UNITED NATIONS, April 4 (Xinhua) –– The UN Security Council on Monday conveyed its “deepest condolences” to the UN and non-UN staff killed in a plane crash in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which left 32 people dead.

Osorio, the Colombian UN ambassador who holds the rotating Security Council presidency for April, made the statement to reporters here after closed consultations among 15 Council members.

“On behalf of the members of the Security Council, I would like to express our profound sorrow for the accident that occurred today in Kinchasa when a UN airplane missed the air-strip and crashed resulting in the deaths of 32 persons including both UN and non UN staff,” he said.

Kinshasa, Congo, April 4, 2011 /WNCNews/ – UN plane which carried the staff of the United Nations (UN), on Monday (4/4), crashed in Congo and broke into two.

Initially, according to a spokesman for UN peacekeeping, Nick Birnback, the death toll reached 10 people and could also increase.

However, a few minutes ago, airport officials of Congo made sure, the death toll reached 26 people. The cause of the UN plane crash was still unknown.

The UN mission in Congo, which is commonly abbreviated MONUSCO, involves more than 19,000 peacekeeping personnel. The mission is aimed at protecting civilians from violence, including all forms of sexual violence

See the original here

April 4, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Safety and Security Issues, United Nations | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

First Quarter 2011 Contractor Casualties, Eighty Contractors Dead in three months

First Quarter 2011 Contractor Casualties numbers are taken from the DoL’s Defense Base Act Case Summary

so only reflect the numbers of Casualties legally reported to the Department of Labor.

These numbers reflect Defense Base Act Claims from around the world and claimants of all nations.

Contractor Deaths claimed from December 31 st  through  March 31st 2011             80

Contractor Injuries Out of Work longer than 4 days                                                 1032

We’ll update this report after we’ve had time to analyze it

April 4, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act | , , | Leave a comment

DRC: Moved onto a Minefield

KISANGANI, 4 April 2011 (IRIN) More than 1,000 people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been ordered to move to a suspected minefield because the authorities want to build shops and restaurants on the site of their old homes.

However, Kisangani mayor Augustin Osumaka Lofanga told IRIN; “The landmine argument doesn’t stand up.

“If there is a risk, it is only 10 percent. Nobody has died yet,” he said, adding that demining of the area had already been conducted by Handicap International Belgium and “if not properly done, it is their responsibility.

“This is a simple demolition of shacks and makeshift homes. Investors should take advantage of the land to build inns, hotels and flats.”

On 4 March the mayor told the 1,350 villagers of Tsamaka they had 30 days to move about 100m towards the suspected minefield, and on 18 March, with police in attendance, the local authorities started destroying their shacks – against the advice of the UN Mine Action Centre (UNMAC), and despite the fact that Mechem Demining was to have begun mine-clearance operations there on 1 April.

April 4, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Demining, United Nations | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lt Col Siri Skare, Norwegian Female Pilot, Killed in UN Attack in Afghanistan

The Norwegian Defence Ministry named one of the victims as Lt. Col Siri Skare, a 53-year-old female pilot.   Skare is Norway’s first female officer to be killed in service in the war-torn nation.

Lt. Col. Siri Skare

Female pilot killed in Afghanistan

Skare, who finished her training as a pilot in 1983, had been working as a military adviser for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) since August of last year, according to the defense ministry. Those assigned to the UN are unarmed and work to provide aid and development assistance to civilians in Afghanistan, reported Aftenposten.no.

“She was a highly respected officer,” Morten Hagalund, second-in-command at the military operative headquarters, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). Skare, age 53, was originally from Åndalsnes in the county of Møre og Romsdal, lived in Oslo, was married and had one child.

Siri Skare, 52, was a lieutenant colonel in the Royal Norwegian Air Force. In 1983, she became the first woman in Norway’s history to graduate as a military pilot. She flew Hercules 130’s and Orion aircrafts, supporting land and maritime operations. Besides degrees in political science and strategic studies, Siri was a 2010 graduate of the US Air Force’s War College. In 2008 she served as a staff officer at US Central Command in Florida.
Siri was seconded to UNAMA in August, 2010, as a military advisor. It was her second posting to Afghanistan.
Friends recall a person character who was a role model to other women and girls in Norway. She is the first female Norwegian military officer to be killed in Afghanistan. Friends describe Siri as motivated and positive, the type of person colleagues relished working alongside. Siri is survived by her daughter.

April 4, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Safety and Security Issues, United Nations | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joakim Dungel, Dedicated to the Advancement of Human Rights, Killed in Afghanistan

Working for the United Nations mission in Afghanistan, Swede  Joakim Dungel  died yesterday when the compound was attacked by a violent crowd.

A lawyer, Joakim Dungel was dedicated to the advancement of human rights and had worked, amongst other things, with the War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague in respect of war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda.

In Memorium Joakim Dungel

Joakim Dungel, 33, followed his passion for defending human rights to some of the most difficult places in the world. A native of Sweden, Joakim trained as an international lawyer and was equally in his element writing scholarly articles and working on cases in Europe as he did interviewing victims of abuses at missions abroad. Before moving to Afghanistan in 2011, where he served as a human rights officer in Mazar-i-Sharif, he worked for the UN in Lebanon and with the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

Colleagues describe Joakim as wise beyond his years, generous, and exceptionally good humored. His ability to make connections with colleagues as well as human rights victims who were not able to speak for themselves was matched by his passion for justice.

April 4, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, United Nations | , , , | 1 Comment

Three killed in convoy attack in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, April 4 (UPI) Islamist rebels in northwestern Pakistan cut the throats of three security guards in the latest fatal attack on a NATO truck convoy headed for Afghanistan.

The guards were killed at a NATO truck terminal in the town of Landi Kotal in the Khyber tribal district near the Afghan border.

Suspected Taliban and al-Qaida rebels also damaged 10 oil tankers carrying fuel to resupply international troops in Afghanistan, a local Pakistan government administrator said.

April 4, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, NATO, Pakistan, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues | , , , | Leave a comment

Filaret Motco, Romanian National, Beheaded in UN assault

ACT Media Romania April 4, 2011

Romanian national who was beheaded in a bloody assault on Friday of a UN regional office in Mazar-I-Sharif, northern Afghanistan, was a UN international functionary. The Romanian had been working in Afghanistan for nearly two years, and had no diplomatic career in Romania. The Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry on Saturday confirmed that Filaret Motco was among the victims of the Mazar-i-Sharif incident.

Filaret Motco was working within the Political Affairs Department of the UN office in Mazar-i-Sharif. He had also participated in UN operations in Kandahar, Tajikistan, the North Caucasus, Chechnya, Kyrgyzstan and in several other operations led by international organizations, said the source.
Seven UN staff members and five Afghan protesters were killed in the attack. Demonstrators were protesting the burning of a Koran by a pastor in the United States.
Out of the nearly 2,000 personnel of the UN Mission in Afghanistan, nearly 80 percent are Afghan nationals, and the remaining are foreigners, some 20-30 percent of whom are Romanians, most of them employed as security guards. Their employment contracts are not intermediated by the Romanian state, but by specialist private companies. Information with the Romanian Foreign Ministry (MAE) as of Friday evening indicates that six victims would have died in an explosion at the UN office. Read the entire article here

Filaret Motco was born in 1967 in Romania. As a young man he attended a military academy, before attending graduate programmes in international relations in Moscow and law in Bucharest.

Filaret’s quest for a life working in the realm of foreign policy led him to a series of jobs, first with Romania’s army then with Romania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then with the OSCE in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and finally with UNAMA in Afghanistan. Filaret joined the United Nations in Afghanistan in 2006, serving as a governance officer in Kandahar. In 2008, he rejoined UNAMA as a political affairs officer.

Filaret struck those who knew him as energetic and kind. Colleagues describe a sharp thinker with a bubbly and friendly personality who got along with everyone. Filaret is survived by his mother.

April 4, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Safety and Security Issues, United Nations | , , , , , | Leave a comment