UN deplores attack on aid compound in southern Somalia

UN deplores attack on aid compound in southern Somalia

Somali refugees collect food rations at WFP distribution point
The United Nations has strongly condemned the attack against its aid compound in southern Somalia on Sunday, the fourth time in two months that the world body’s offices in the Horn of Africa nation have been deliberately targeted.

Armed gunmen carried out the attack around midnight on 16 August at the World Food Programme (WFP) compound in Wajiid, according to a statement issued by the Office of the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia.

The attack comes less than one month after Somali militants raided two UN compounds Baidoa and Wajiid, stealing equipment and vehicles and forcing the Organization to close down one of its operations in the strife-torn nation.

“This direct, deliberate and sustained attack on aid organizations and aid workers is intolerable,” acting UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Graham Farmer said, urging all parties to allow unhindered access for aid workers assisting those in need.

The UN has repeatedly called on all parties in Somalia to ensure the safety of humanitarian aid workers, who are tending to the needs of some 3.2 million people, or 40 per cent of the population, made vulnerable by the combined effects of conflict, drought, high food prices and the collapse of the local currency.