Jamaican UN staffer killed in Libya

Clive Peck

There have been reactions of dismay to the death of Jamaican, Clive Peck, who was one of three United Nations workers killed in a bomb attack in Libya last Saturday.

Mr. Peck, originally from Smithville in Clarendon, died after a bomb-laden vehicle exploded outside a shopping mall in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi.

Mr. Peck is a former member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Kimina Johnson Smith, in a tweet Sunday afternoon, said the Government of Jamaica was deeply saddened by the loss of Mr. Peck who along with two of his UN colleagues: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our Jamaican national Clive Peck who along with two of his UN colleagues was a victim of yesterday’s car bombing in #Benghazi. We convey our sincere condolences to his family and to the UN family now mourning the loss of 3 dedicated members.”

Ambassador Curtis Ward, former Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, with responsibility for Security Council Affairs, said the news of the deaths was devastating, but not entirely surprising, noting that “over the years the UN has lost hundreds of personnel on missions overseas… UN personnel put their lives at risk all the time to help bring peace and security in troubled parts of the world…”

Broadcaster Fae Ellington knew Mr Peck for many years. Speaking Sunday on RJR’s That’s a Rap, she attributed several adjectives to him: “He’s passionate; he’s a professional, and when it comes to Jamaica, he’s patriotic.”

The attack came even as the country’s warring sides said they accepted a cease-fire proposed by the UN aimed at halting combat in the capital Tripoli during an upcoming Muslim holiday.

The Security Council convened an emergency session in New York on to discuss the latest developments affecting the war-torn North African nation.

According to a statement from the UN Special Representative for Libya, Ghassan Salame, the staff members who died and were injured served with the UN Support Mission in the country.

“This cowardly attack, which comes at a time when Libyans are out shopping in preparation for the Eid al-Adha, serves as another strong reminder of the urgent need for Libyans to stop fighting, set aside their differences, and work together through dialogue, and not violence, to end the conflict”, Mr. Salame  said.

The UN has been attempting to broker a truce in fighting which erupted following a major assault in April on the southern outskirts of the capital Tripoli by the forces of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) and forces loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord.