Two World Food Programme employees and an employee of the Doyale NGO have been killed by a gunman in Somalia. WFP released the names of the three men, Muhyedin Yarrow, Mohamed Salad, and Abdulahi Ali.
Mr. Yarrow, 54, had worked with WFP for 13 years, during which he served in the Somali towns of Baidoa, Wajid and Galkayo. Mr. Salad, 28, joined WFP’s relief operation in Galkayo two years ago. The men were on a mission to monitor food aid distribution.
In a bizarre turn of events, it was reported the gunman who shot the three aid workers gave himself up after committing the crime. Local authorities took the man into custody. Food Programme operations in Mataban are temporarily suspended while the incident is investigated.
The World Food Programme agency condemned the killing saying this violent act illustrates the risks that relief workers face in one of the world’s most dangerous places.
The UN says Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, issued a statement through his spokesman, strongly condemning the killing. He urged authorities in Somalia to ensure the safety of humanitarian workers.
Mr. Ban extended his sympathy and condolences to the families and friends of the three humanitarian workers and their colleagues, saying he expected those responsible for the murder to be swiftly brought to justice.
WFP provides food to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and malnourished children in Hiran, which was badly affected by this year’s drought-induced food shortages, but was not officially declared to be in a state of famine, as were some other parts of Somalia.
Mataban town lies in the central Hiran region of Somalia.