Obama, Ban Ki-Moon, Jonathan Condemn Attack On UN House In Abuja
World leaders have risen to condemn the bomb attack on the United Nations headquarters building in the Nigerian capital, Abuja killing at least 18 people and 62 others critically injured. The U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday described the attack as “horrific” .
“An attack on Nigerian and international public servants demonstrates the bankruptcy of the ideology that led to this heinous action,” Obama said in statement.
No one has claimed responsibility for the blast, which security sources and witnesses said was caused by a car laden with explosives being rammed into an office complex where close to 400 people normally work for U.N. agencies.
But suspicion pointed toward Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram, whose strikes have been growing in intensity and spreading further afield, or al Qaeda’s North African arm.
“The United States strongly supports the work of the United Nations and its lasting bond with the people of Nigeria, a bond that will only emerge stronger in the wake of this murderous act,” Obama said.
He was winding up a vacation with his family on an island off the Boston coast.
A statement by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the attack on UN in Nigeria reads:
“Around 11:00 o’clock this morning, local time, the United Nations House in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, was struck by a car bomb.
These buildings house 26 humanitarian and development agencies of the United Nations family.
This was an assault on those who devote their lives to helping others.
We condemn this terrible act, utterly.
We do not yet have precise casualty figures but they are likely to be considerable. A number of people are dead; many more are wounded.
Nigerian and international search and rescue teams have mobilized and are moving the wounded to hospitals and providing emergency aid.
I am asking the Deputy UN Secretary-General, Ms. Asha-Rose Migiro, [to go] to Nigeria immediately and am mobilizing the UN system to respond to this emergency. She will be accompanied by the UN security chief, Under-Secretary-General Gregory Starr, and meet with Nigerian authorities upon arrival in Abuja.
I am going to call President [Goodluck] Jonathan of Nigeria soon.
On this very sad occasion, I extend my deepest sympathies to the victims and their families. The United Nations will undertake every possible effort to assist them during this difficult time.”
Also, the Nigerian leader’s statement on the attack reads:
“President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria utterly condemn the barbaric, senseless and cowardly attack on the United Nation’s Building in Abuja this morning.
The President believes that the attack is a most despicable assault on the United Nations’ objectives of global peace and security, and the sanctity of human life to which Nigeria wholly subscribes.
He extends his sincere condolences to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon and all members of the United Nations family who have lost loved ones in the heinous attack.
President Jonathan reaffirms the Federal Government’s total commitment to vigorously combat the incursion of all forms of terrorism into Nigeria, and wishes to reassure all Nigerians and the international community that his Administration will spare no effort to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The President has also directed all relevant government agencies to assist in the search and rescue effort at the UN Building, and ordered heightened security across the Federal Capital Territory.
He urges all Nigerians to cooperate fully with the government in its efforts to expose the desperate elements who promote violence, terrorism and division in the country.
While noting that by today’s attack, we are once again reminded of the international character of terrorism and its indiscriminate targeting of innocent civilians, President Jonathan affirms Nigeria’s determination to continue to play its part in the global effort to eradicate the scourge of terrorism in all its ramifications.
He urges all Nigerians and foreigners resident in the country to go about their normal affairs with the full assurance that the Federal Government and its law enforcement agencies will continue working diligently to ensure the full protection of lives and property in the country.”