Newscast Media MOGADISHU—Doctors Without Borders has announced the closure of
its operations in Somalia. The humanitarian organization cited unparalleled dangers to
its staff in the African country as the driving force behind its decision.
After over two decades of caring for millions of Somalians, the medical humanitarian
organization Doctors Without Borders said it would close its 11 programs across the
country, including in the capital city Mogadishu. The Paris-based group – often
dubbed MSF, for its French name Medecins sans Frontieres – called the decision
“painful,” but necessary due to the extreme dangers facing its staff.
MSF has had to “take the exceptional measure of utilizing armed guards, which it does
not do in any other country, and to tolerate extreme limits on its ability to
independently assess and response to the needs of the population,” the organization’s
president, Dr. Unni Karunakara, told reporters in Nairobi on Wednesday.
“In choosing to kill, attack, and abduct humanitarian aid workers, these armed groups,
and the civilian authorities who tolerate their actions, have sealed the fate of
countless lives in Somalia,” Karunakara added.
The humanitarian organization deploys doctors to serve the world’s neediest
populations who have been affected by wars, epidemics and natural disasters. Last
year alone, MSF provided more than 624,000 medical consultations and admitted
roughly 41,000 patients to hospitals in Somalia.
Source: Radio Deutsche Welle