Drawing up a detailed itinerary is paramount to ensure that all aspects of the mission is well thought out. Ensuring maximum security of its members would be of utmost importance. Every member needs adequate training, from fitness to understanding accepted protocols of engagement, should the inevitable happen. They need to be well equipped, which of course should include a helmet and a bulletproof vest. They should be clearly marked as “non-hostile”. Organisers also need to engage with the local authorities to ensure that they have a clear understanding of the current situation and its volatility.
Malaysia has several aid organisations with the famous one being Mercy Malaysia.
The latest humanitarian mission led by Putera 1Malaysia, under the purview of UMNO, was disastrous with the death of a cameraman, Noramfaizul. The information from the press is patchy, however, several facts stand out.
Noramfaizul was not wearing a bulletproof vest or helmet during his unfortunate incident. The vehicle they were travelling in was also not clearly marked resulting in hostile fire from African Union peacekeeping forces. They also had no security escort. Even the Americans will hire a security firm to handle security issues.
I believe that politically associated parties and those not accredited as aid organisations, should never be allowed to lead such a humanitarian mission. They had no experience nor training prior to leading this mission.
Despite calls not to find blame, it is also important to investigate the cause of this mishap and to ensure that such an incident does not recur.
This mission was an accident waiting to happen as they were ill-prepared and ill-equipped.