Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hedi Annabi, Head of UN Mission in Haiti, Killed in Earthquake

By Bill Varner

(Bloomberg) -- Hedi Annabi of Tunisia, the head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti, was killed in the collapse of the mission’s headquarters during the earthquake that struck the capital Port-au-Prince on Jan. 12, the UN said. He was 66.

The UN also confirmed the death of Luiz Carlos da Costa of Brazil, the deputy head of the mission, and acting police commissioner Doug Coates of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

“In every sense of the word, they gave their lives for peace,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement.

“The United Nations was his life and he ranked amongst its most dedicated and committed sons,” Ban said of Annabi. “He was passionate about its mission and its people. He gave of himself fully -- with energy, discipline and great bravery.”

Annabi worked with the UN since 1981, most recently as assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping from 1997 until his appointment to the post in Haiti in 2007 by Ban. He led UN efforts from 1982 to 1991 to achieve political reconciliation in Cambodia and from 1993 to 1996 was head of the peacekeeping department’s Africa Division.

Annabi was a top adviser to Tunisia’s prime minister before joining the UN.

The UN said 40 members of the peacekeeping mission are confirmed dead and that another 188 are unaccounted for in the rubble of its buildings, which collapsed during the earthquake.

--Editors: Jim Rubin, Andy Davidson

To contact the reporter on this story: Bill Varner at the United Nations at +1-212-963-7617 or

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jim Kirk at +1-202-654-4315 or

Source: BusinessWeek

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