Wednesday, August 31, 2011

UN looks beyond Boko Haram over attack on Abuja office

31 August 2011

Rules out immediate return to bombed house
Ban briefs General Assembly on explosion
Nine non-UN workers, 10 Nigerians, one Norwegian, three others die in blast

THE United Nations (UN) seems not carried away by fundamentalist Islamic sect, Boko Haram’s claims that it launched last Friday’s terror attack on the world body’s office in Abuja.

Sources at the UN headquarters in New York yesterday said until an independent investigation being undertaken by the global institution was completed, it could not accept claims by any group that it was behind the bomb blast.

The officials, who spoke on conditions of anonymity when asked of the reaction of the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the claims of Boko Haram, which was reported widely in the Nigerian and western media, said he would not comment until “the UN independently determines those behind the terror attack.”

Another source at Ban’s office confirmed that the UN’s investigative team in Nigeria is working hard to unmask the masterminds of the explosion. “So, we will not be responding to the Boko Haram’s claim of responsibility.”

He added that the UN would not take the claim as real until its own investigators conclude their work.

The officials spoke ahead of a meeting of the UN General Assembly on the blast slated for late yesterday evening. Ban’s office had sent invitations to diplomats to attend the parley.

Meanwhile, UN officials in Nigeria have said operations at the wrecked Abuja office would not resume soon. Reason: More precautionary security measures are to be interwoven into the repair work at the house by the global body.

Before the blast, the UN House was only accorded low-medium threat security cover. Even now, the UN is not contemplating having an entirely new structure, but when the repair of the building is completed, it will not carry the same security grading.

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