NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–26 August 2011. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned this morning’s attack on the United Nations building in Abuja, in which a number of people have been killed or wounded, and said he is dispatching top officials to the Nigerian capital to respond to the emergency.
The compound in Abuja, a series of buildings that house the offices of 26 UN humanitarian and development agencies, was struck by a car bomb at around 11 a.m. local time.
“This was an assault on those who devote their lives to helping others,” Mr. Ban told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York. “We condemn this terrible act, utterly.”
Mr. Ban said that the UN did not yet have precise casualty figures but “they are likely to be considerable,” adding that a number of people are dead and many more are wounded.
“On this very sad occasion, I extend my deepest sympathies to the victims and their families,” he said. “The UN will undertake every possible effort to assist them during this difficult time.”
Nigerian and international search and rescue teams have mobilized and are moving the wounded to hospitals and providing emergency aid.
Mr. Ban announced that he is dispatching Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro to Nigeria immediately and mobilizing the UN system to respond to the emergency. She will be accompanied by the UN security chief, Gregory Starr, and meet with Nigerian authorities on arrival in Abuja.
The Secretary-General added that he will also call the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, soon to discuss the attack. The Security Council observed a minute silence before the start of a meeting today on UN peacekeeping operations.