UN to relocate 12% of its staff in Afghanistan after recent attack

19:40, November 05, 2009      

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United Nations special envoy to Afghanistan Kai Eide speaks during a news conference in Kabul November 5, 2009. The United Nations said on Thursday it would temporarily evacuate hundreds of its international staff from Afghanistan due to deteriorating security, a sharp blow for Western efforts to stabilize the country. The UN would relocate about 600 of its roughly 1,100 international staff, with some being moved to safer sites within Afghanistan and the rest withdrawn from the country temporarily. The move, a week after five UN foreign staff were killed by militants in Kabul, is a blow for U.S. president Barack Obama's counter-insurgency war strategy, which foresees an influx of civilian assistance alongside extra troops(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

The Special Representative of United Nations Secretary General for Afghanistan Kai Eide on Thursday said that UN as part of security measure would evacuate 12 percent of its some 5,500 employees including around 1,000 international staff in the war-torn country.

"The UN is putting in place immediate additional security for its national and international staff in Afghanistan. There will be a short-term relocation of 12 percent of our staff," Eide told journalist at a press conference in UN compound.

"Most of these staffs are supportive staff or I'll call non-front line staff," the UN envoy added.

The decision is taken place in the wake of deadly attack on a UN guest house in Kabul days ago that caused panic among people.

He further stressed "There will be relocation inside the country and some outside the country."

However, the UN top diplomat in Afghanistan emphasized that the decision is not evacuation by saying, "Let me make one thing clear, we are not talking about polling out or evacuation. We simply do what we have to do following the tragic event last week."

Taliban militants in a surprise move penetrated in a UN guest house in the fortified Afghan capital Kabul on October 28 killing over a dozen people including six international staff of the world body.

Source: Xinhua
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