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UN security chief says no sect threat against organization in Nigeria

(Xinhua)

11:12, August 29, 2011

ABUJA, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- UN security chief Greg Starr has said there is no specific threat by the Boko Haram sect against the UN in Nigeria.

Starr said this on Sunday while speaking with newsmen after inspecting the damaged UN House in Abuja following Friday's bombing incident.

Asked if the UN received any security threat from the Boko Haram in the country, he said the global body was not aware of any particular threat.

"No, we have some very vague and unspecific general threats, we have those worldwide and a lot of places, but no there was no specific threat against the United Nations in Nigeria from Boko Haram that I am aware of," he added.

"In a low threat situation and we have to look at the threats that we have all over the world in what is considered a low and medium threat locations, we don't spend most money on security," he added.

"We invest mostly heavily in those locations we have the greatest threat against our people and we have to find ways to operate in those high threat locations," the UN security chief said.

He said the Nigerian government had asked the FBI to assist in the investigations, adding that the UN would be given the report of the outcome.

Starr, who said the first statement on the bomb explosion on the UN building must be investigated, also canvassed the need to spend more money on security at UN facilities.

"It is clear this is going to cause some re-assessment; I think you just have to understand that we have over 5,000 facilities around the world and we cannot spend all our money just on security," he said.

"The problem is essential, we need to spend more money on security but every dollar that we spend on security, the dollars were not spent on medical care or development or humanitarian affairs," he added.

"We have a real responsibility to protect our employees, we have a real responsibility to deliver programs to the poor and needy around the world," he told reporters.

"The UN has to take the money that member states give us to do the best good for the people that we are trying to serve," Starr said.

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