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Lax Security Blamed for U.N. Casualties
EFL AP from Newsday

UNITED NATIONS -- An independent panel accused the United Nations on Wednesday of major security failures that put hundreds of staffers at risk and caused unnecessary casualties when U.N. headquarters in Baghdad was bombed Aug. 19. It criticized U.N. officials for not requesting security from U.S.-led coalition forces.

The panel’s report also cited widespread violations of U.N. security procedures, inadequate assessments of threats to the United Nations after the U.S.-led war in Iraq and immediately before the bombing, and a lax attitude by U.N. leaders and management to security issues.

Still, the report stopped short of holding any individual accountable. Besides Kofi, the other responsible guy done got himself blowed up.

"The failure of the U.N. system to comply with its own security regulations and directives left the organization and its staff and premises open and vulnerable to the type of attack that was perpetrated on Aug. 19, 2003," the report said.

After the attack, the U.N. Staff Union, which represents 5,000 staff members worldwide, called for an independent investigation into security in Baghdad. Secretary General Kofi Annan launched an internal investigation and asked former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari to chair an independent panel.

Ahtisaari’s report will be studied closely "and steps taken to ensure early implementation of its recommendations," U.N. deputy spokesman Hua Jiang said.

The panel said security still needs to be improved for the skeleton staff of U.N. employees still in Iraq. Most international staff were ordered to leave after the Aug. 19 attack and a second bombing outside U.N. headquarters, on Sept. 22.

It said that the Security Council’s unanimous approval of a resolution last week authorizing deployment of a multinational force in Iraq offers a possible alternative for security so the United Nations could return to Iraq without having to rely on the U.S.-led coalition. Oh, please no. Not again.

"Such forces will need to offer adequate security coverage for U.N. operations in the field, including control of U.N. perimeters, security of U.N. movements, and the close protection of U.N. staff as required," it said.

Pretty quick independent report. Unions usually frown on having their membership blown into smithereens.
Posted by:Super Hose

#3  Not sure it can be placed squarely on de Mello. Seems like his office was deliberately targeted. And with 500-plus (non-UN estimate) UN people in Baghdad, that's a lot of suspects in the blame-pool.
Posted by: Pappy   2003-10-22 7:29:52 PM  

#2  so the United Nations could return to Iraq without having to rely on the U.S.-led coalition

What does that mean? Is that a weak attempt to blame the US? The report said it was the UN's own fault for failing to comply with their own security regulations. Weak, as ususal.
Posted by: B   2003-10-22 3:14:28 PM  

#1  Still, the report stopped short of holding any individual accountable.

My, how......UN!
Posted by: tu3031   2003-10-22 2:13:24 PM