It is indeed a sad day for Malaysia and in particular to the Malaysian humanitarian group to Somalia. Noramfaizul Mohd Noor a member of the media group went with a mission to record all activities of the humanitarian group in Somalia and died a hero. However this was destined to happen and the risks are obvious to everyone. A war journalist can never avoid risks and that includes death.
However some important factors need to be focused to ensure the safety of future mission members and to maintained a high level of alertness. Recollecting my experience while in the Balkan, upon our arrival a security brief was given to all mission members. We knew clearly about the risks we faced and everyone of us left everything to Almighty God. The dos and the don’ts were made clear to us before we went on our various assignments. But although much was said we have to accept that fate knows no one and can strike without notice and this can be painful to accept.
Also on mission like this, like it or not, all should wear the flak jacket and helmet as a precaution each time on assignment as danger lurks in every corner. Hopefully future missions to conflict areas anywhere in the globe should undergo a proper briefing before departure as well as upon arrival. Necessary equipments should also be supplied to each and every member of the group including communication.
Members should be physically fit as conditions, in particular, in conflict areas demands this. Probably some form of training is conducted here before departure to expose members to circumstances they might encounter at their destination.
Whatever the situation, what was done cannot be undone and what is more important here is that a lesson is learnt from this unfortunate incident. In a conflict area like Somalia, although the government is responsible for the safety of everyone, they cannot be totally blamed. One must clearly remember that the government faced limitations by years of conflict and the individuals concerned have to ensure his or her own security in a volatile zone like in Somalia.
We must also accept that this will not be the end and it will happen again because the risks are always there and everyone on a mission like this understands this very well.
In conflict areas the risks cannot be eradicated totally. So at this juncture there is no point crying over spilt milk but instead we should focus our efforts to improve standards and plan for future missions.
Noramfaizul Mohd Noor, may Allah SWT bless your soul and the family should remain strong in the face of such a calamity. It is hoped that whatever promises made to the family by the government is not mere lip service but will be a reality.
Noramfaizul Mohd Noor, may Allah bless your soul. Alfatihah.
ACP (Rtd) Osman Bakar blogs at http://obee-mancuso.blogspot.com