Saturday, May 10, 2008


(CNN) -- A gunman in Kenya shot and killed the head of a World Food Program office that provides relief for neighboring southern Sudan, the WFP said on Friday.

The incident occurred in the northwestern Kenyan town of Lokichoggio, a slaying that the U.N. agency calls "the first killing of a WFP aid worker in what has been a major relief hub for southern Sudan."

The incident occurred late Wednesday when Silence Chirara -- a Zimbabwean national who is coordinator of WFP's logistics operation for southern Sudan -- was ambushed by people armed with AK-47s assault rifles near the main gate of the U.N. camp.

"After coming under attack, Chirara, 37, drove on and his clearly marked U.N. vehicle hit a shipping container near the gate. He was later pronounced dead at a clinic. His vehicle was hit by seven AK-47 bullets on the car's left-hand side. The gunmen escaped," the WFP said.

The killing was denounced and mourned by colleagues and friends. Chirara -- who joined WFP in 1996 and worked in Africa and Asian countries -- is survived by a wife and two children.

WFP says its planes airdropped food to millions during the civil war between northern and southern Sudan, a war that ended in 2005. But ever since, Lokichoggio has been a key "relief hub and access route for aircraft and trucks delivering assistance into Sudan."

No comments: