News: Relief agencies criticize US military "humanitarians"

US sailors loading humanitarian cargo on the deck of guided-missile destroyer USS McFaulThe International Rescue Committee (IRC) has felt first hand the heavy toll to be paid when humanitarians are targetted by violence. Just two weeks ago, three IRC female staff working in Afghanistan and traveling in a clearly marked vehicle when they were attacked and killed by Taliban.
A symbolic attack, further prompting humanitarians to distantiate themselves from any military forces in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq.

No wonder that Non-governmental relief agencies are now criticizing the US decision to put the Pentagon in a prominent "humanitarian" role in Georgia. They claim the "militarization" of the humanitarian operation puts them, the aid workers, at risk.

"We are concerned about blurring the lines between who is an aid worker and who is a soldier," said Anne Richard, a vice president of the IRC. "If we are mistaken for soldiers, in very dangerous situations we can become targets," said Richard. (Full)

Picture courtesy AP Photo


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