Two aid workers for Christian Children’s Fund (CCF) were attacked near Lira in Northern Uganda, where they were working for CCF health programs in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps. The attack on CCF staff resulted in two injuries.
In unrelated and subsequent incidents, aid workers from two other international aid organizations were attacked, resulting in two deaths and two injuries.
CCF has suspended all activities in Northern Uganda for one week, pending an investigation of the attacks on nongovernmental organizations.
The two wounded CCF workers, both from Uganda, are Patrick Erach, 27, and Nelson Munu, 28. They were shot Tuesday morning, October 25, as their car was traveling to the Okwang IDP camp on the Okwongo Road in Northern Uganda. The car, which carried CCF-Uganda identification, was reportedly sprayed with bullets. The driver was not injured.
Erach was shot in the chest, and Munu was shot in the foot. Both were airlifted from the Lira hospital to Kampala where better medical treatment is available.
They are currently recovering from their wounds.
“This is a tragic event, which has become all too commonplace in areas of conflict around the world,” noted CCF President John F. Schultz. “Humanitarian agencies depend on safety and security to carry out our work."
“Patrick and Nelson are representative of those professionals who selflessly give of themselves to help others in need,” Schultz continued. “Their goal is to help the villagers who have been terrorized daily in the ongoing regional conflict."
“CCF has been working in Uganda since 1980," said Schultz. "When the conflict escalated between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan government in Northern Uganda, we continued working in the region. CCF distributed food, established Child Centered Spaces in IDP camps, initiated health interventions and child protection programs."
“It’s tragic when aid workers, who give of themselves to help others in need, are injured, kidnapped, or even killed. We hope that governments around the world will take action to stop these kinds of tragedies.”
Erach and Munu work for CCF as contractors, carrying out health interventions as part of a UNICEF health grant, which focuses on prevention of common diseases in IDP camps.
CCF is an international child development organization working in 33 countries, assisting 10.5 million children and family members, without regard to religion, race or gender.