Press Releases

    SG/SM/8330
    9 August 2002

    CONDEMNING COLOMBIA INAUGURATION KILLINGS,
    SECRETARY-GENERAL APPEALS TO ALL ARMED
    ELEMENTS TO RESPECT CIVILIANS

    NEW YORK, 8 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokes- man for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General strongly condemns the violent attacks yesterday, 7 August in Bogotá, Colombia, during the inauguration ceremony of President Alvaro Uribe Velez, killing 14 people while wounding dozens of others. The violence that, sadly, has become part of daily life in Colombia, demonstrates a complete disregard for human life. Initial reports indicate that most of those killed were civilians from a poor neighbourhood near the presidential palace.

    The Secretary-General emphatically condemns any attack against civilians and reiterates his long- standing appeal to all armed elements in Colombia to respect the civilian population. He extends his heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families, and expresses his hope that in the coming period Colombia will seek political solutions to resolve the country’s decades-long conflict.

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