NEW YORK, Oct 1 (BDNEWS): Twenty-two United Nations (UN) officials including one Bangladeshi have been detained since mid-2004 despite an international treaty guaranteed the safety of UN personnel, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Friday.
The total comprised seven in Eritrea, four in Afghanistan, two in Ethiopia, two in Serbia's Kosovo province and one each in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Mozambique, Russia, Sudan and Zimbabwe, Annan said in a report to the 191-nation UN General Assembly (UNGA), according to wire services.
He said one UN employee who worked for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development was listed as missing in Sri Lanka following last December's Indian Ocean tsunami.
The seven held in Eritrea were all Eritrean nationals in custody after being charged with failure to fulfil their national military service obligations, a UN official said.
"The UN is concerned about its staff and feels strongly against the detention of its officials," UN spokesman Brenden Varma said.
The General Assembly asked Annan to monitor threats to UN staff around the world after two 2003 bombings of UN offices in Baghdad, including one that killed 22 people. His report covered the period from July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2005.
While the world body did not suffer another catastrophic attack during the period, it was marked by "significant threats and risk" to staff, Annan said, citing the situation in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and Lebanon, among others.