UN releases more names of staffers killed in Haiti quake
Wed, Jan 20, 2010
UNITED NATIONS - A week after a powerful earthquake devastated the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, killing at least 47 UN staffers, the world body on Tuesday identified several of them.
Last week, UN chief Ban Ki-moon confirmed that the head of the UN mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Hedi Annabi, his Brazilian deputy Luiz Carlos da Costa and the acting police commissioner, Doug Coates of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, perished when the 7.0 quake flattened their headquarters.
Ban returned from a six-hour visit to Port-au-Prince Sunday with the remains of Annabi and da Costa.
In addition to the 47 UN staffers, including 19 Brazilians, now known to have died, more than 500 are listed as unaccounted for, the worst disaster in the UN's history.
On Tuesday, the department of peacekeeping operations, which oversees all UN missions around the world, released the following list of confirmed fatalities:
. Marc Plum, Chief Electoral Assistance Section (France)
. Watanga Lwango, Audit Assistant (Democratic Republic of Congo)
. Mirna Patricia Rodas Arreola, Secretary (Guatemala)
. Simone Rita Trudo, personal assistant to the principal deputy special representative of the Secretary General (France)
. Ericka Chambers Norman, Board of Inquiry Officer (USA)
. Guillaume Siemienski, Political Affairs Officer (Canada)
. Satnam Singh, IT Technician/International Contractor (India)
. Karimou Ide, Security Officer (Niger)
. Frederick Wooldridge, Political Affairs Officer (Britain)
. Lisa Mbele-Mbong, Human Rights Officer (USA)
. Andrea Loi Valenzuela, Human Rights Officer (Chile)
. Guido Galli, Political Affairs Officer (Italy)
. Hebert Moisse, Driver (Haiti).
. Mesonne Antoine, Security Guard (Haiti).
Also confirmed dead was Alexandra Duguay, a 31-year-old French Canadian who worked as a spokeswoman for MINUSTAH.
"The body of our beautiful Alexandra was found around midnight. It appears she died in the first minutes after the quake," said her mother in a post on Facebook.
The death of the young Canadian shocked New York's UN headquarters, where she worked until last May and where she was extremely popular, particularly with journalists whom she helped greatly.
A special "Hope for Alexandra Duguay" page was set up on Facebook where hundreds of her friends posted prayers and willed her to survive.
News of her death brought hundreds of messages of sympathy on the page.
Nina Vitale, a retired UN staffer who knew Duguay well, described her as "an energetic, young woman with a devilish smile and big beautiful green eyes, a forward-thinking colleague who gets things done, when others give up.
"I will always miss Alex and she will always be in our thoughts," she added.
Duguay transferred to MINUSTAH last year for what was to be a two-year stint to join her boyfriend, Marc-Andre Franche, a fellow French Canadian who works for the United Nations Development Program in Port-au-Prince and survived the quake.
Ban led a poignant ceremony to honor the quake victims at 4:53 pm (2153 GMT), exactly one week after the quake struck, and called for a moment of silence throughout the United Nations at that time.
Meanwhile, Haitian authorities said the overall death toll in the quake had risen to at least 75,000, with 250,000 people injured and one million left homeless.