UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
Source: ACT Geneva Dateline ACT Somalia 1/99
Staff killed in Somali-Kenyan border town
Geneva, March 23, 1999 Ms. Deena Umbarger, a consultant for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), was shot and killed Saturday (March 20) in the small town of Kiumigio on the border between Kenya and Somalia. She was having tea with town elders when a gunman opened fire on the group. Ms. Umbarger is the only fatality of which UMCOR has been notified in this incident.
Ms. Umbarger was 36 years old and a US citizen. UMCOR is a member of the ACT emergency network.
Ms. Umbarger was based in Nairobi, Kenya and went to the Somali-Kenyan border as one of several ACT assessment missions send to assess humanitarian needs in the southern parts of the country.
For the full text of UMCOR's News Release on this tragic matter please see further below.
Another ACT assessment team to Somalia was caught in a shooting incident Wednesday last week on the road between Mogadishu and Shoha in Middle Shebele. Two Somali gunmen were wounded in that incident but nobody was killed. The shooting occurred when the ACT assessment team was stopped at an improvised road block.
Unrelated to the above events fighting erupted in Mogadishu South on March 17 and continuing the following day. The fighting reportedly started as a fight over control of the Qaran market and subsequently spread to other parts of Mogadishu South involving both light and heavy weapons. By last weekend things appear to have quieted down. Aid workers from one ACT member organisation evacuated to other parts of Mogadishu for the duration of the fighting.
For further information: Please contact Nils Carstensen (mobile ++ 41 79 358 3171). ACT Web Site address: http://www.act-intl.org
ACT is a worldwide network of churches and related agencies meeting human need through coordinated emergency response. The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Switzerland. -------------------------------------
Full text of the UMCOR News Release: General Board of
Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church, Office
of Public Relations, 475 Riverside Drive, Room 350,
New York, NY 10115.
Contact: Lesley Crosson on tel. ++ 1 212 870-3916
March 22, 1999
For Immediate Release
New York--Deena M. Umbarger, 36, a consultant for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) was killed Saturday, (Mar.20) in Kenya. UMCOR is the disaster relief arm of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.
Our information at this time is that Ms. Umbarger flew from Nairobi, Kenya to the area bordering Somalia to meet with town leaders in Kiumigio, a border town running from Kenya to Somalia. She was having tea with town elders when a gunman opened fire on the group. Ms. Umbarger is the only fatality we have been notified of.
Ms. Umbarger began her career with UMCOR in 1997. She served as UMCOR project manager in Nairobi, Kenya from June 1997 to May 1998. She was finance officer for UMCOR in the Republic of Georgia from January 1998 to September 1998. At the time of her death, she was serving as a consultant for UMCOR in Kenya, helping to develop agricultural projects for the area.
UMCOR projects in Kenya also include feeding programs for refugees, peace and reconciliation programs.
Dr. Randolph Nugent, chief executive of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries said, *Deena*s death is a tragedy. Not only did she possess a brilliant mind, but she also possessed a deep passion for justice and a love for those who so desperately need the kind of support provided through the outreach programs available from the Board of Global Ministries through UMCOR. We regret, very much, Deena*s death in circumstances that have not yet been made clear to us.*
Ms. Umbarger graduated magna cum laude from the University of Washington in 1990, with a degree in psychology. She graduated from Yale University Law School in 1994.
Following law school, she was an associate with the Washington, D.C. law firms of Baker and Hostetler and Powers, Pyles, Sutter and Verville.
She is the daughter of Mary Ann Workman of Sumner, WA and Dean Umbarger of Cypress, TX. We are awaiting more details concerning Ms.Umbarger*s death from the U. S. State Department in Nairobi.
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 13:00:58 +0300 (EAT) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <email@example.com> Subject: SOMALIA: NGO staff killed in Somali-Kenyan border town 
Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D
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