WFP-contracted driver killed by gunmen in Southern Somalia

Published on 13 June 2008

Gunmen have shot and killed a WFP-contracted truck driver in southern Somalia, the WFP said today.

Gunmen have shot and killed a WFP-contracted truck driver in southern Somalia, the WFP said today.

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

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

Denise Brown, WFP Somalia Deputy Country Director

He is the third WFP–contracted driver killed this year. WFP urged all parties to ensure the safe passage of humanitarian staff and assistance.

“Somalia is one of the most difficult places for humanitarian agencies to operate, and it appears to be getting more dangerous,” said Denise Brown, WFP Somalia Deputy Country Director. “We strongly condemn this attack on personnel and trucks delivering life-saving food. Our condolences go to the family of Hassan Abdi.”

Urging all parties

“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,” Brown added.

Experts fear that the number of people in Somalia requiring food assistance later this year could reach a total of 3.5 million people – nearly half the country’s population.