• BAAG statement on murder of aid workers

BAAG statement on murder of aid workers

30 August 2013

BAAG (British & Irish Agencies Afghanistan Group) and its members strongly condemn the kidnap and murder of five Afghan IRC staff members and a local employee of the Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development in Herat province on 26th August 2013.

 

Whatever the motives of the attacks, any violence against staff of local and international NGOs and government agencies is of great concern. The IRC has been forced to temporarily suspend its operations in Afghanistan.  Whilst the organisation deals with the suffering inflicted on the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased staff, the communities supported by the programmes which have been suspended will also be badly affected.  Serious security incidents such as this can delay or prevent the delivery of important relief and development programmes to men, women and children who may already be very vulnerable.

 

BAAG condemns the groups responsible for this and other attacks on aid workers in Afghanistan. Through these acts, they are responsible for depriving the Afghan communities of services essential to their development - and sometimes survival.

 

BAAG calls upon the Government of Afghanistan to prioritise the protection of local and international aid workers and government staff and support them in the delivery of their programmes. The targeting of aid workers can be classified as a war crime under international humanitarian law and the Government of Afghanistan has a duty to protect them and other development workers.