UN food agency shocked by killing of staffer in Kenya

May 9, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, May 9 – The World Food Programme on Friday condemned the killing of an agency official working in northern Kenya, from where he coordinated relief operation for troubled southern Sudan.

Gunmen with AK 47 rifles shot dead 37-year-old Zimbabwean Silence Chirara late Wednesday outside a UN compound in Lokichoggio, near the southern Sudan border.

"We are all shocked at this savage killing of Silence Chirara and condemn it in the strongest terms. UN Security and the Kenyan police are investigating this terrible crime," said Kenro Oshidari, WFP Representative in Sudan, who flew to Lokichoggio on Thursday.

Chirara, coordinator of WFP’s logistics operation for southern Sudan, was ambushed while driving a clearly marked UN vehicle which was hit by seven bullets, the agency said in a statement.

The incident was the first killing of a WFP aid worker in what has been a major relief hub for southern Sudan.

Chirara — a father of two — joined WFP in 1996 and had worked in Iraq, Guinea Bissau, Zimbabwe and Indonesia. He started working in Lokichoggio in March 2006.

The UN and other aid groups set up a base in Lokichoggio in the 1990s to coordinate humanitarian operations for South Sudan during a two-decade war that ended in 2005.

At least 25 people have been killed this year in bandit-related attacks in Turkana district, which neighbours the conflict-torn southern Sudan and northeastern Uganda.


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