Brenda Kyeyune perished with 3 other UNICEF colleagues as they were being transported in a van from a guest house where they were staying to the UNICEF office. Kyeyune has been managing social mobilization and communication initiatives in support of polio eradication in Somalia since 2014. Lydia Namubiru, a former colleague at Marie Stopes described the deceased as a quiet, focused, smart and hardworking young lady.
A statement released on Tuesday by the UNICEF regional office East and Southern Africa-Nairobi said 2 Kenyan nationals and an Afghan were killed in the attack. Five other UNICEF staff members were injured. Four were airlifted to Nairobi while the fifth was treated for minor injuries. Two Somali security personnel were also killed in the attack. They were guards at FAO.
There have been several incidents in Somalia where the UN has come under attack. On December 25, 2014 there was an attack against the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) at the Mogadishu Airport where many UN personnel are based which resulted in numerous deaths including that of three AMISOM soldiers and a civilian contractor. On June 19, 2013, a truck exploded outside the gate of the UN Common Compound in Mogadishu where UN staff lived.
One international staff member, three contractors and four Somali security guards were among those killed.
On October 29, 2008, 2 UN Somali staff, a local security advisor and a driver were killed in an explosion at the UN compound in Hargeisa which was part of a wave of attacks in Hargeisa and Bossasso. However, UNICEF said it is constantly monitoring the security situation in the areas where its staff works. “Security experts are currently in Garowe and will assess the situation. It is too early to make any decisions,” said James Elder, regional chief of communication in Nairobi. He added: “UNICEF takes security extremely seriously and has measures in place to provide protection to all our staff. However we do not discuss specific details of security reasons.”
- New Vision