News / Africa

Doctors Without Borders Pulls Out of Somalia

Doctors Without Borders President Unni Karunakara addresses a news conference in Kenya's capital Nairobi, Aug. 14, 2013.Doctors Without Borders President Unni Karunakara addresses a news conference in Kenya's capital Nairobi, Aug. 14, 2013.
x
Doctors Without Borders President Unni Karunakara addresses a news conference in Kenya's capital Nairobi, Aug. 14, 2013.
Doctors Without Borders President Unni Karunakara addresses a news conference in Kenya's capital Nairobi, Aug. 14, 2013.
The aid group Doctors Without Borders, known by its French acronym MSF [Medecins Sans Frontieres], has closed all its medical operations in Somalia. MSF says it was forced to pull out because of continuous and extreme attacks against its medical workers in the country.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday in Nairobi, MSF President Unni Karunakara said armed groups and civilian leaders support and tolerate the killing, assaulting, and abducting of humanitarian aid workers.

“We have faced the different security situation over the years as best as we could. Today we have a situation where there is no basic respect for humanitarian action. It is not possible to send humanitarian teams and in some way assure their safety. There is no possibility for us to do independent assessment in Somalia today. These are not conditions under which we can work,” said Karunakara.

MSF is one of the few international aid agencies that has received access to, and is providing for basic needs, in central and southern Somalia, alongside local Somali and Islamic aid agencies.

The medical group says for the last two decades of Somalia’s conflict, the group has negotiated with armed groups and authorities to allow its medical workers to have access to Somalis in need of assistance.

MSF helps hundreds of thousands of Somalis in the country, including the autonomous regions of Somalia.

Karunakara said a lack of cooperation from local authorities has complicated the group's mission. He cited the recent release of a person convicted of killing two MSF staff members in Mogadishu in 2011.

“In some cases, the same actors particularly, but not exclusively, in south central Somalia with whom MSF has had to negotiate safety have played a role in the abuses against MSF staff either through direct involvement or tacit approval. Because of their actions, hundreds of thousands of Somalis will now be effectively cut off from medical humanitarian aid,” he said.

In July, two women who had been working with MSF were released in Somalia after 21 months in captivity. Montserrat Serra and Blanca Thiebaut were abducted from the Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya in October, 2011.

The humanitarian group has called on warring groups and Somali communities to accept and recognize the value of humanitarian action.

The group also called on all actors in the country to demonstrate through their actions the willingness and ability to provide for the safe presence of aid workers and delivery of aid to the needy.

You May Like

Sunni-Shi’ite Divide Threatens Middle East Stability

Analysts say ancient dispute that traces back to Islamic Revolution is fueling modern day unrest More

Shifting Demographics Lie Beneath Racial Tensions in Ferguson

As Missouri suburb morphed from majority white to majority black, observers say power structure remained static More

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Restriction is toughest since Soviet era, though critics reject move as patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
August 15, 2013 4:07 AM
NATO should seriously consider in providing security and safety for MSF staff and Somali women and children who desperately need medical humanitarian aid. Our uneducated local authorities and faceless armed groups in this country have shown over and over again that they have no regard for human life,....they have got no name or credibility to protect. MES's pull out of Somalia will surely cause women and children to continue to die for lack of basic medical attention.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid