UNHCR deplores killing of staff member in eastern Congo

News Stories, 21 May 2012

© MONUC/MarieFrechon
A scene of displaced people in North Kivu province's Rutshuru region. Rocky worked as a field safety adviser in the area for UNHCR.

GENEVA, May 21 (UNHCR) UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres on Monday deplored the killing of a UNHCR staff member in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rocky Makabuza died on Saturday in the North Kivu provincial capital after sustaining gunshot wounds to his stomach in an attack at his home by unknown assailants on Friday night.

Rocky, who was aged 38, was a field safety assistant for UNHCR at its office in Rutshuru, north of Goma. He was taken to hospital after the shooting, but died of his wounds. Neither the identity of his assailants nor the motives for the attack have been established.

"I deplore the shooting of a colleague and offer my sincere condolences to his family. We do not know who is responsible for Rocky's death or why they attacked him. I hope that the authorities will do their best to investigate the incident and bring those responsible to justice," said Guterres.

Rocky had been working for UNHCR since 2009. He is survived by his wife and three children.

His death comes at a volatile time in North Kivu, where fighting in recent weeks between government forces and renegade troops has forced large numbers of people to flee their homes, with thousands seeking shelter in neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda.