Statement by the President: Killing of UNHCR Workers (9/25/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
          (Aboard Air Force One en route Albuquerque, New Mexico)

For Immediate Release
September 25, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     I join all Americans in mourning the recent deaths of United Nations
refugee workers in Indonesia and in Guinea.

     On September 6 in West Timor, three staff members of the office of the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees were brutally murdered by a
rampaging local militia.  One of those killed was an American, Carlos
Caceres-Collazo, who was still new to the cause of helping refugees and
displaced persons, but already dedicated to it, even in conditions of great
danger and hardship.

     Two weeks later, in the West African country of Guinea, another UNHCR
staff member was killed, and a colleague abducted, by an unidentified armed
group.  I extend my condolences to their families and to UNHCR, which has
been shocked by these tragedies.  We hope that the abducted employee will
be returned to safety.

     These international civil servants were willing to take enormous risks
and endure great hardship to protect and assist the most vulnerable
refugees, displaced and war-affected people.  Humanitarian workers operate
on the principles of neutrality and impartiality, and it is tragic that
they so frequently become the victims of willful violence themselves.  We
must work to  end the culture of impunity that allows such violence to
flourish, and dedicate ourselves to strengthening the protection of those
whose mission is to help their fellow human beings.


President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House | White House for Kids
White House History | White House Tours | Help
Privacy Statement


Site Map

Graphic Version

T H E   W H I T E   H O U S E