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UN Agency Deplores Killing Of Food Convoy Driver

UN Agency Deplores Killing Of Food Convoy Driver In Southern Somalia

New York, Jun 13 2008 10:00AM

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has condemned the murder of one of its truck drivers who was gunned down yesterday in southern Somalia while delivering food aid, the third incident of its kind this year.

Hassan Abdi, who was part of a convoy of WFP-contracted trucks carrying 328 metric tons of food from Mogadishu to Bay and Bakool regions, was killed by gunmen shortly after dawn near the village of Leego.

“We strongly condemn this attack on personnel and trucks delivering life-saving food,” said WFP’s Deputy Country Director Denise Brown. “Our condolences go to the family of Hassan Abdi.”

Ms. Brown noted that Somalia is one of the most difficult places for humanitarian agencies to operate, and it appears to be getting more dangerous.

“We urge all parties to ensure the safe passage of humanitarian staff and cargo across the country, especially at a time when we are trying to feed more people and need to double food deliveries,” she added.

The humanitarian situation in the country – which has not had a functioning government since 1991 – has been getting worse in recent months due to rising insecurity, soaring food prices and a worsening drought. It is estimated that up to 3.5 million people – almost half the population – may require food aid during the course of this year.


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