The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today confirmed the deaths of two staff members and a colleague working for a cooperating partner organisation in Somalia, in an incident that illustrates the risks that humanitarian workers can face while working in one of the world’s most difficult and dangerous environments.
ROME-- The attack took place this morning in Mataban town in Hiiran province in central Somalia. Two WFP members of a monitoring mission – Muhyedin Yarrow and Mohamed Salad – were shot, as was Abdulahi Ali who worked for Doyale, one of WFP’s NGO partners. The mission was in the area to monitor a general food distribution as well as camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs). The attacker reportedly gave himself up and was taken into the custody of the local authorities. WFP operations have been temporarily suspended in Mataban while the case is investigated. WFP condemns the killing of people who devote their lives to helping others and extends its deepest condolences to the families of the victims. Muhyedin Yarrow was 54 years of age and had been working with WFP for 13 years. He had served with the organisation in Baidoa, Wajiid and Galkayo. Mohamed Salad joined WFP's Somalia operation in Galkayo two years ago and was 28 years old. WFP is providing food for IDPs and malnourished children in Hiiran province, which was badly affected by this year's Horn of Africa drought but was not officially declared to be in a state of famine, as were some other parts of Somalia.