09 March 2010 - UNAMID remembers colleagues lost in Haiti earthquake
INFO NOTE 9/3/2010
In a solemn service held today in El Fasher, North Darfur, the African Union-United Nation Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) honored the hundreds of thousands who lost their lives in the Haiti earthquake, including 101 members of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
Addressing the large number of UNAMID staff who turned out to pay their respects, UNAMID Deputy Joint Special Representative (DJSR) General Henry Anyidoho extended his condolences to those in the Mission who lost loved ones to the tragedy, stating that “our prayers and thoughts remain with them.”
Also present at the ceremony were other UNAMID and Sudanese senior officials.
Over 200,000 people were killed in the earthquake and millions were left homeless, while the UN suffered the single greatest loss in its history. The Secretary-General’s Special Representative (SRSG) to Haiti, Mr. Hedi Annabi, and his deputy, Luiz Carlos da Costa, were among the 101 UN peacekeepers who died.
Immediately after the catastrophe, UNAMID launched a Haiti fund which has collected over 100,000 USD to date. This has gone towards helping those left injured and their family members. “I am grateful for the response so far, especially from our Military and Formed Police Units (FPUs) for their contributions,” said DJSR Anyidoho.
Thirteen of the 19 Haitians working with UNAMID are United Nations Volunteers. Edny Saint-Cyr, a Haitian colleague who lost family and friends, remembers that “it was difficult to communicate with anyone in order to confirm who was missing.” She expressed gratitude to UNAMID for the care and support offered during that trying time.
Also speaking at the service was UNAMID Staff Union President David Liburd, who noted that peacekeepers around the world have not been left untouched and that this memorial was “a sign of hope and solidarity in the face of adversity.”
Concluding the service, both AU and UN flags were lowered to half-mast while participants observed a minute of silence. UNAMID DJSR laid a wreath at the foot of the flags on behalf of the Mission followed by the Deputy Force Commander and Deputy Police Commissioner.
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