UN chief mourns Pakistani commander

October 23, 2009 12:00 am

, UNITED NATIONS, Oct 23 – UN chief Ban Ki-moon expressed sadness on Thursday at the death of a senior Pakistani peacekeeper who was gunned down while on leave from his UN mission in Sudan.

"The Secretary-General was saddened to learn of the death of Brigadier General Ahmed Moinuddin, the Deputy Force Commander of the United Nations Mission in Sudan, during an attack on 22 October in Islamabad where he was on leave," Ban’s office said in a statement.

Moinuddin and his driver were shot inside their military jeep by two gunmen on a motorbike in the Pakistani capital.

The brazen killing in a smart residential district capped a spike in attacks blamed on Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked extremists that has left over 185 people dead this month in the frontline state in the US-led terror fight.

Moinuddin had been a key member of the UN’s 9,000-strong peacekeeping mission to Sudan, known as UNMIS, which is propping up a faltering 2005 peace accord to end a brutal north-south civil war that killed over two million people and displaced 4.6 million more.

The UN chief sent "his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family" and colleagues of Moinuddin, who joined UNMIS five months ago, after it assumed the duty of monitoring a truce between the Khartoum government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.

Ban also praised "the contribution of the government of Pakistan to peacekeeping efforts in Sudan and elsewhere," adding that he "hopes that the perpetrators of the attack will soon be brought to justice," according to the statement.

Pakistan is one of the top troop contributors to UN peacekeeping efforts around the world.


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