Names of SA Somalia attack victims released

2013-06-20 10:59

Denel has released the names of three employees killed during an attack on a United Nations facility in Somalia.

They were Morne Lotter (42) of Oudtshoorn, Alan Simpson (35) of Port Elizabeth, and Somali national Isak Mohammed Osman, whose age was not immediately available, Denel spokeswoman Vuyelwa Qinga said today.

Yesterday morning around 11am the UN Development Programme (UNDP) camp in Mogadishu came under attack. At least 16 people were killed, Denel said.

Denel group chief executive Riaz Saloojee said the company would do everything possible to help the families of the deceased, and repatriate their bodies at the earliest opportunity.

“We further extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the UN employees who lost their lives,” he said.

The Denel staff in Somalia belonged to a contingent in the company’s humanitarian demining operations, Mechem, and were providing camp management services to the UN operations in the region.

These included managing and providing catering, cleaning and logistical support, as well as mine protected vehicles in the region. The company would continue with its work towards the UN’s peace-keeping efforts.

“This is a very unfortunate incident, but Denel will continue to support all peace-keeping efforts carried out under the auspices of the United Nations and the African Union.

“In this instance our employees lost their lives while they were providing services to the UN’s peace-keeping efforts in the region,” said Saloojee.

The remaining Denel employees in Somalia were moved to facilities under the protection of the UN Office for Project Services, where they were reported to be safe.

UNDP administrator Helen Clark condemned the attack.

“We are all appalled and deeply saddened by this cowardly attack.”

She said yesterday that among the UN fatalities were one international staff member, three contractors, and four Somali security guards. A number of Somali civilians were also killed.

“We grieve with the Somali people, the African Union Mission in Somalia, and the entire UN family today,” said Clark.

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