YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The UN Armenia Office held a mourning ceremony on Friday–in connection with the murder of three UNHCR officials in West Timor two days ago.
"All officials of UN agencies across the world express their deepest condolences to the families of their murdered colleagues and once again raise a voice against terrorism and brutality against aid workers," UNHCR Representative in Armenia Thomas Birath said during the ceremony. What happened in West Timor casts aspersions on the UN Millennium Summit being held in New York and the 50th anniversary of the UNHCR–he added. But it again reminds the world leaders about the grave danger officials of international humanitarian organizations expose themselves to. Representatives of international humanitarian organizations always find themselves in difficult situations as they have to lend a helping hand to those in need and keep their own security in mind and not to put their lives in danger–Birath said.
The aid program for 90,000 refugees in West Timor has been suspended as UN office workers have been evacuated from the country. This situation will be immediately explained to the refugees who are left without international aid and protection.
The foreign ambassadors who were present at the ceremony kept a minute’s silence to pay tribute to the memory of the killed UNHCR employees.