UN kidnapping heightens tensions in Kabul

 Christian Aid staff in Afghanistan report that the already tense situation in the capital, Kabul, has become more acute following the kidnapping of three UN workers in the city last week. For aid workers in Afghanistan, the fear of kidnapping has been on everyone's mind in their tight-knit community, especially after recent events in Iraq. The capture of the three UN election monitors has realised their worst fears, said Teena Roberts, who runs Christian Aid's operation in Afghanistan. "We live in the same region as Iraq and Pakistan and, in the back of our minds, there has been this hope that the insurgents in Afghanistan won't learn from their counterparts in Iraq," she said. "But this is a major change. It means it is a whole new security situation." Christian Aid staff in Afghanistan are still working in the country, but all unnecessary movement has been curtailed and extra security measures have been put in place. The kidnapping comes after the country's first direct presidential election on 9 October 2004. In London, Christian Aid's regional manager, Robin Greenwood, says: 'There has been an on-going security threat to aid workers in Afghanistan and Kabul for some months now. "Christian Aid has taken these threats extremely seriously and in response we have, over the past weeks, kept a very low profile. We have suspended field visits to projects and have from time to time closed our offices and instruct staff to work from home. "The current situation is of deep concern to our staff. All staff have been confined to their homes or offices. Staff are, in effect, in hibernation. No staff will move until further notice." Source: Christian Aid

Share this story