UN to punish staffers concerned in ‘terror,’ urges UNRWA funding By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: United Nations Secretary-Basic Antonio Guterres addresses delegates on the opening of the Third South Summit (G77+China) within the Munyonyo suburb, of Kampala, Uganda January 21, 2024. REUTERS/Abubaker Lubowa/File Photograph


By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-Basic Antonio Guterres vowed on Sunday to carry to account “any U.N. worker concerned in acts of terror” after allegations that some refugee company staffers had been concerned within the Oct. 7 Hamas assaults on Israel.

However Guterres implored governments to proceed supporting the U.N. refugee company for Palestinians (UNRWA) after a number of international locations paused funding.

“Any U.N. worker concerned in acts of terror might be held accountable, together with by way of prison prosecution,” the U.N. chief mentioned in a press release. “The Secretariat is able to cooperate with a reliable authority in a position to prosecute the people in step with the Secretariat’s regular procedures for such cooperation.”

On the identical time, he mentioned, “The tens of hundreds of women and men who work for UNRWA, many in among the most harmful conditions for humanitarian employees, shouldn’t be penalized. The dire wants of the determined populations they serve have to be met.”

In his first direct feedback on the difficulty, the U.N. chief gave particulars concerning the UNRWA staffers implicated within the “abhorrent alleged acts.” Of the 12 implicated, he mentioned, 9 had been terminated, one was confirmed lifeless and the identities of the opposite two had been being clarified.

Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Finland on Saturday joined the US, Australia and Canada in pausing funding to the help company, a crucial supply of help for individuals in Gaza, after the allegations by Israel.

“Whereas I perceive their considerations – I used to be myself horrified by these accusations – I strongly enchantment to the governments which have suspended their contributions to, no less than, assure the continuity of UNRWA’s operations,” Guterres mentioned.

(This story has been refiled to chop a repeated phrase in paragraph 1)

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