Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Job Op-Head of Operations – Explosive Ordnance Disposal & Humanitarian Mine Action

See at Reliefweb  July 12, 2012
Closing date: 09 Aug 2012

DanChurchAid (DCA) is seeking a visionary, dynamic Head of Operations for its Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) programmes around the globe. DCA is offering a job that will make a difference and improve the lives of people living at risk from Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) and assist in the reconstruction of societies after conflict.

DCA has operational HMA programmes in Angola, Burma/Myanmar, DR Congo, Laos, Lebanon, Libya and Sudan, implementing the entire range of HMA activities.

The Head of Operations (HO) will be responsible for the coordination and supervision of all operational mine action aspects of the DCA HMA programmes. The HO will be comfortable in dealing with all external actors in strategic global HMA at all levels from UN agencies to local partner organisations. The challenging role extends to strategic advice, strategic planning, operational supervision, recruitment, training, impact measurement and ownership and operation of DCA’s HMA quality assurance mechanism.

How to apply:

Submit your application Please upload your letter of motivation, your CV and latest relevant diploma to www.noedhjaelp.dk/job or http://www.danchurchaid.org/get-involved/jobs/jobs-in-denmark no later than Thursday 9 August 2012. The interviews with the shortlisted candidates will be scheduled for Monday 20 August 2012. Initial interviews may take place by Skype, and relevant candidate(s) may be invited for a further interview in Copenhagen later in August.

For further information about this position please contact Head of Mine Action, Mr. Richard MacCormac at +45 2969 9138 or acting Head of Operations, Mr. M.J. Fred Pavey at +45 2969 9125. DCA promotes equal opportunity in terms of gender, race/ethnicity and belief and encourages all qualified and interested candidates to apply.

July 12, 2012 Posted by | Bomb Disposal, Civilian Contractors, Demining, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Humanitarian Assistance, Landmines, Mine Clearance, NGO's, United Nations | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Death Illustrates Issues With Loose Weapons Stockpiles in Libya

The New York Times  June 13, 2012

The death of an Estonian explosive ordnance disposal technician in Libya this spring illustrates the continuing problem of loose weapons stockpiles almost a year after Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi was driven from power.

The technician, Kaido Keerdo, died in March while examining unexploded munitions scattered near a police compound and checkpoint in Ad Dafniyah as part of his work for the nongovernmental group Danish Church Aid.

The checkpoint had been fought over by rival Libyan militias three nights before. The groups were quarreling over access to 22 shipping containers of Qaddafi-era munitions, according to the aid group’s investigation, the findings of which were described this week to The New York Times.

One of the containers was struck during the fighting and caught fire. The explosion that followed ruptured at least 11 containers, heaving into the air a poorly stored collection of grenades, rockets and mortar rounds, some of which landed almost 500 yards away.

The munitions, once seen by Libya’s armed groups as instruments for breaking free from internal repression and making the country safe, were then scattered near houses, a mosque and a school along Libya’s main coastal road. The inadequately trained militias and ad hoc police officers had stored rockets and shells with fuzes inserted, a configuration that compounded their dangers.

Among this refuse were 122-millimeter rockets containing Type 84 land mines, one of the most volatile weapons in Libya’s prewar stocks. Mr. Keerdo, a demining team leader, was surveying the police compound and apparently knelt near one of these rockets. At least one mine exploded, killing him instantly.

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June 15, 2012 Posted by | Bomb Disposal, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Demining, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Libya, NGO's, Safety and Security Issues, United Nations, UXO | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UK hostage recovers after special forces rescue, one UK soldier killed

British soldier killed in Afghan rescue mission

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The U.S.-led NATO force in Afghanistan says a British soldier has been killed during a successful mission to rescue an Afghan police officer kidnapped by militants.

The provincial government of southern Helmand province says the policeman was kidnapped Sunday evening from a police checkpoint in Payan village in Nahri Sarraj district.

The NATO coalition said Monday that British forces recovered the kidnapped policemen, but the insurgents managed to flee. Security forces seized one of their mobile phones, some documents and explosives.

The NATO statement did not provide any further details about the soldier, nor how he was killed. It says another British soldier was injured.

The Independent UK  June 4, 2012

A British aid worker held hostage in Afghanistan is recovering from her ordeal today after special forces swooped on a remote hide-out.

Helen Johnston, 28, was dramatically rescued yesterday in an early morning raid following her 12-day ordeal.

Prime Minister David Cameron later commended the soldiers who carried out the “extraordinarily brave, breath-taking” operation and returned her to safety.

In a strongly-worded statement issued outside 10 Downing Street, he also warned hostage-takers could

“expect a swift and brutal end”.

The rescue attempt was authorised amid increasing concerns for the safety of Ms Johnston and her colleagues from Medair, a humanitarian non-governmental organisation based near Lausanne, Switzerland.

The aid worker, Kenyan national Moragwe Oirere, 26, and two Afghan civilians were abducted by a group associated with the Taliban on May 22 as they visited relief project sites in Badakhshan province in the north-east of the country.

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June 4, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Humanitarian Assistance, NGO's, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weapon contamination in Libya

InterCross ICRC   From the Field  May 30, 2012

The ICRC in Libya started to address the humanitarian consequences of explosive remnants of war immediately after the figting ended in April 2011.

In an effort to protect returning residents, our explosive ordnance disposal teams entered Sirte and Bani Walid at a time when unexploded ordnance caused on average one casualty a day.

They proceeded to train hundreds of Libyans in risk education, including members of the Libyan Red Crescent. These volunteers now work in local communities in the regions and cities most affected by the problem.

The total number of mines and explosive remnants of war in Libya is unknown but the weapons continue to kill and maim, primarily children and young men.

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June 4, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Bomb Disposal, Civilian Contractors, ERW, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Libya, NGO's, Safety and Security Issues, UXO | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Afghans say kidnapped aid workers in mountains, talks begin

Reuters May 24, 2012

Gunmen in Afghanistan are demanding money for the release of five aid workers, including two Western women doctors, held in remote mountains and authorities have opened negotiations in the hope of freeing them, an investigator said on Thursday.

The aid workers employed by Swiss-based aid group Medair were making their way from Faizabad city in rugged northeast Badakhshan province on Tuesday to visit flood-stricken areas when they were abducted about half-way to their destination.

“All five aid workers have been carried to the mountainous district of Shahr-e Bozorg and they are keeping them there,” said Sakhidad Haidari, the senior police detective for the remote province.

“We have found their position and we are in negotiation, but that process has not reached any conclusion yet,” Haidari said.

The kidnapping of foreigners has become relatively common in parts of Afghanistan since U.S-backed Afghan forces toppled the Taliban government in 2001, heralding a 10-year anti-insurgent war.

In 2010, 10 foreign medical workers, including six Americans, were killed in Badakhshan in an attack blamed on insurgents.

Haidari said the gunmen in the latest incident were thought to belong to kidnap and criminal groups who were taking advantage of the difficult terrain and the loose grip on the area of Afghan security forces.

“I don’t think that they have any connection with the Taliban or other insurgent groups,” Haidari said.

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May 24, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractors Kidnapped, NGO's, Safety and Security Issues | , , , | Leave a comment

Two Foreign Doctors and Three Afghans kidnapped in NE Afghanistan

Officials: 2 foreigners, 3 Afghans abducted
May 23, 2012 07:08 GMT

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Officials say two foreign doctors and three of their Afghan colleagues have been kidnapped in a remote area in the extreme northeast Afghanistan.

Abdul Maroof Rasikh, the spokesman for the governor of Badakhshan province, said on Wednesday that it’s unclear who kidnapped the five. He says the kidnapping occurred Tuesday as the group was traveling on horseback between Yaftal and Ragh districts about 90 kilometers (56 miles) from the provincial capital of Faizabad.

He says the five were employed by a non-profit humanitarian organization, which reported the kidnapping.

Neither the name of the organization or the identities of the five who were abducted have been released.

A police official and the deputy governor also confirmed the kidnapping.

May 23, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractors Kidnapped, Contractors Missing, Humanitarian Assistance, NGO's, Safety and Security Issues | , , , | Leave a comment

Security is nationalised in Afghanistan – but will expats feel any safer?

France 24 International News FOCUS  May 16, 2012

18 months after Hamid Karzai vowed to shut down private security firms in Afghanistan, it’s finally happening.

By July, all security contracts will have been handed over to the Interior Ministry-owned Private Protection Force, or APPF.

Despite the upcoming deadline, many foreign companies still haven’t made the switch.

Poorly trained and barely equipped, the new guard force is perceived as an additional security threat to expats, already working in an increasingly hostile environment

Please see the video of program here

May 16, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, ExPats, NGO's, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , | Leave a comment

The myth and mystique of humanitarian space

“Humanitarian space is generally understood as a space that exists separate from politics,”

LONDON, 2 May 2012 (IRIN)

The phenomenon of ‘shrinking humanitarian space’ is earnestly debated by aid workers. The often-heard complaint is that neutrality and independence is increasingly compromised by donors, peacekeepers and warring parties seeking to to co-opt them, and they blame the growing toll of attacks on agency staff on the perception that they are no longer impartial.

Now two researchers from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London have waded into the debate, challenging the whole idea of ‘humanitarian space’ as the agencies define it, and criticising the lack of historical perspective of those who believe there was ever a humanitarian golden age, when neutrality was respected and agencies could work in conflict zones free of political considerations.

In their paper, Humanitarian Space: a Review of Trends and Issues, Sarah Collinson and Samir Elhawary do not deny that the total number of attacks on aid workers has increased. But they argue that the number of aid workers, and the scale of their operations have also increased – massively – in recent years. More than 200,000 field-based aid workers are now estimated to be employed by the UN and international NGOs, and it is not clear that they are proportionately more at risk than their far less numerous predecessors.

Agencies also now consider it normal to expect to be able to work in areas of conflict and have their neutrality respected. That was not always the case. In the 1950s and 60s, respect for national sovereignty kept UN agencies out of countries affected by war, and the refugee agency UNHCR only worked with people who had already left their homeland. In the 1970s, idealistic new NGOs defied sovereign governments and worked with rebel groups to help the oppressed.

In the 1990s international peacekeeping efforts became more assertive and interventionist, but, say Collinson and Elhawary, “many aid agencies accepted the need for ‘coherence’ between humanitarian and diplomatic and security agendas as long as they trusted the basic humanitarian intent of the main donor governments.” It was only after the 9/11 attacks in the US, little more than 10 years ago, that agencies got concerned about being co-opted into the much more explicit security agenda of the so-called Global War on Terror.

“Humanitarian space is generally understood as a space that exists separate from politics,” Elhawary told an audience at the ODI this week, “and that to reverse politicisation we need to return to a clear, solid and predictable model, namely that by upholding these principles, and remaining outside of politics, an agency’s access will be guaranteed. But all access is essentially based on political compromise and results from the interplay of a range of actors’ interests and actions…We undertook a brief historical review since the cold war, and we found no past golden age for humanitarian action.”

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May 2, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Casualties, Civilian Contractors, Contractors Kidnapped, NGO's, Safety and Security Issues, United Nations | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pakistan: kidnapped ICRC delegate Khalil Rasjed Dale murdered

Captive British aid worker killed in Pakistan

 

Pakistani security officials stand next to covered body of British Red Cross worker Khalil Rasjed Dale at the site in Quetta, Pakistan on Sunday, April 29, 2012. The body of a British Red Cross worker held captive in Pakistan since January was found in an orchard Sunday, his throat slit and a note attached to his body saying he was killed because no ransom was paid, police said. Photo: Arshad Butt / AP

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — The body of a British Red Cross worker held captive in Pakistan since January was found in an orchard Sunday, his throat slit and a note attached to his body saying he was killed because no ransom was paid, police said.

Khalil Rasjed Dale, 60, was managing a health program in the city of Quetta in southwestern Pakistan when armed men seized him from a street close to his office. The identities of his captors are unknown, but the region is home to separatist and Islamist militants who have kidnapped for ransom before.

The director-general of the International Committee of the Red Cross condemned the “barbaric act.”

“All of us at the ICRC and at the British Red Cross share the grief and outrage of Khalil’s family and friends,” said Yves Daccord.

Dale’s throat had been slit, according to Safdar Hussain, a doctor who examined the body.

Quetta police chief Ahsan Mahboob said the note attached to it read: “This is the body of Khalil who we have slaughtered for not paying a ransom amount.”

Militants and criminal gangs often kidnap wealthy Pakistanis and less commonly, foreigners.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned Dale’s killing, and said “tireless efforts” had been under way to secure his release after he was kidnapped

Islamabad/Geneva – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) condemns in the strongest possible terms the murder of its staff member Khalil Rasjed Dale.

The ICRC has now received confirmation that Khalil, a 60-year-old health-programme manager in Quetta/Balochistan, was murdered almost four months after his kidnapping.

“The ICRC condemns in the strongest possible terms this barbaric act,” said Director-General Yves Daccord. “All of us at the ICRC and at the British Red Cross share the grief and outrage of Khalil’s family and friends.”

“We are devastated,” said Yves Daccord. ‘’Khalil was a trusted and very experienced Red Cross staff member who significantly contributed to the humanitarian cause.”

Khalil worked for the ICRC and the British Red Cross for many years, carrying out assignments in Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq. He had been working as a health-programme manager in Quetta/Balochistan for almost a year. At about 1 p.m. on 5 January 2012, he was abducted by unidentified armed men while returning home from work.

The ICRC has been active in Pakistan since 1947, providing humanitarian services in the fields of health-care, in particular physical rehabilitation, including in Balochistan.

April 29, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractors Kidnapped, NGO's, Pakistan, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Somalia: ICRC Suspends Aid Deliveries

IRIN January 12, 2012

NAIROBI, 12 January 2012 (IRIN) – One of the few aid agencies excluded from a ban imposed by Al-Shabaab insurgents in Somalia has suspended food and seed distributions to 1.1m people in the south and centre of the country after local authorities repeatedly blocked its deliveries.

“The suspension will continue until we receive assurances from the authorities controlling those areas that distributions can take place unimpeded and reach all those in need, as previously agreed,” said Patrick Vial, the head of the ICRC delegation for Somalia, in a statement released on 12 January.

Without specifically mentioning Al Shabaab, which controls most of the region, the ICRC said deliveries intended for 240,000 people in the Middle Shabelle and Galgaduud had been blocked since mid-December 2011.

“We are actively seeking the cooperation of the local authorities to restore conditions that will allow the resumption of the suspended activities as soon as possible,” Vial said

Please read the entire article here

January 12, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Humanitarian Assistance, NGO's, Safety and Security Issues, United Nations | , , , , , | Leave a comment

British nurse kidnapped in volatile Pakistan city of Quetta

Khalil Dale, a British nurse, was kidnapped in one of the most volatile areas of Pakistan when he was seized by gunmen after visiting a local hospital.

The Telegraph   January 5, 2012

Mr Dale, a veteran aid worker who served as health programme manager for the International Committee of the Red Cross, was abducted in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province in south-western Pakistan.

This vast area, bordering both Afghanistan and Iran, endures a nationalist insurgency waged against Pakistan’s central government and also serves as a base for senior Taliban commanders.

The leadership council of the Afghan Taliban, known as the “Quetta Shura”, is thought to meet in the city.

Mr Dale, 60, has been based in Quetta since last February. Along with a driver and a local doctor, he was returning to his residence in a closely guarded area of the city when seven or eight armed men in a jeep blocked his vehicle.

“An armed man got out, pointed a gun at the driver and took his keys,” said Nazir Kurd, a senior police official in Quetta. “He then forced Dale at gunpoint into his car.”

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January 5, 2012 Posted by | Contractors Kidnapped, NGO's, Pakistan, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , | Leave a comment

1 de-miner killed 2 injured in Kapisa missile attack

Khaama Press November 23, 2011

According to governmental authorities in northern Afghanistan, at least three de-miners of a mine clearance organization were killed and injured in militants attack in north-eastern Kapisa province.

The officials further added, the incident took place after militants targeted the deminers in Kohaband district of north-eastern Kapisa province late Tuesday night.

Afghan security officials in Kapisa province confirming the incident said, at least one de-miner of a mine clearance organization was killed and two others were injured after they were targeted by militants in the area around 11:oo pm local time on Tuesday night.

The source further added, militants used missiles to target the de-miners office from the south-eastern region of Kohband district.

In the meantime, Kohband police chief Mohammad Anwar confirming the report said, at least one de-miner working Halo Trust demining company was killed and no one else was injured

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November 23, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Demining, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Explosive Remnants of War, Landmines, NGO's | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Somalian pirates demand 50m kroner for demining workers

The Copenhagen Post   Friday November 4, 2011

Final ransom for the pair’s release likely to be reduced by 90 percent, piracy specialist says

Two workers from the Danish Demining Group taken hostage in Somalia last week will only be released for a 50 million kroner ransom, Ekstra Bladet newspaper reports.

The two workers, 60-year-old Dane Poul Hagen and 32-year-old American Jessica Buchanan were abducted a week last Tuesday in the Somalian town of Galkayo and have since been moved to the al-Shabaab controlled region of Galmudug.

The region’s deputy police chief, Abdi Hasan Gorey, visited the pirates to begin negotiations on Sunday.

“They are demanding between $9 million and $12 million,” Gorey told Ekstra Bladet.

Gorey added that the hostages were being treated well and were being fed camel meat and milk, the same food as the pirates were eating

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November 4, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Contractors Kidnapped, Demining, Explosive Remnants of War, NGO's, Pirates, Somalia | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Suicide Bomb Targets Foreigners in Afghanistan

Three UN staff killed in Afghan attack

Kabul: Three UN employees were killed on Monday along with three others when a Taliban truck full of explosives was detonated near a compound housing UN offices in Afghanistan’s Kandahar city.

Two Afghan civilians and a policeman were also killed in the early morning attack that also involved gunmen, Xinhua reported.

Three UN staff killed in Afghan attackThe terror attack “resulted in the death of three UNHCR employees at our compound and the wounding of two other staff members”, said a statement issued by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Kabul.Though the statement did not disclose the nationalities of the victims, a police official told Xinhua all three were Afghans.Three UN staff killed in Afghan attack The Kandahar administration said one of the wounded men was a Nepali who was the security guard of the UNHCR office.

 

KGO Newstalk  October 31, 2011

(KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN) – The regional office of IRD, a USAID subcontractor, was targeted Monday morning in what’s being called a major attack; a suicide attacker driving a pickup truck began the attack, severely damaging the building. The explosion was followed by small arms fire.

According to Kandahar governor’s media office, the attackers took position inside a veterinary clinic in the area and continued to fire on security forces.This was described as a major attack because it targeted both the UN and the USAID contractor in Kandahar city.

foreigners were targeted, none were killed. However, this attack does mark the second major attack on foreigners in Afghanistan in three days. According to UN, US and Afghan police officials, the UN building suffered severe damage from the truck bomb, and four civilians and one policeman were killed. Four individuals were injured, including one Nepalese guard at the UNHCR guesthouse.

October 31, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Casualties, Civilian Contractors, NGO's, Private Security Contractor, United Nations, USAID | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tough post-revolution reality for NGOs in Egypt

CAIRO, 25 October 2011 (IRIN)

Egyptian NGOs hoping for greater freedoms and more space to operate after the fall of Hosni Mubarak’s government say they have encountered just the opposite: an unprecedented clampdown by the post-revolution military rulers.

“Following Egypt’s historic protests calling for basic political freedoms, it is deeply disturbing that the Egyptian military has targeted Egypt’s democracy and human rights community in ways not even dared during Mubarak’s despotic rule,” wrote Stephen McInerney, executive director of the Washington-based Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED).

The first parliamentary elections since Mubarak’s fall are scheduled for 28 November, but NGO leaders say the transitional government led by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has mounted a “smear campaign” against them by accusing them of receiving millions of dollars from foreign donors to destabilize the country – going so far as to say the violence on the streets of Cairo during and after the revolution was supported by foreign funding channelled through NGOs.

Many of the local organizations being targeted intended to monitor the upcoming elections, but have been prevented from doing so by the Electoral Commission. SCAF has already banned foreign groups from monitoring the vote

Please read more here

October 26, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Egypt, NGO's | , , , , , | Leave a comment