MSF pulls out of Somalia amid growing insecurity

MSF pulls out of Somalia amid growing insecurity

NAIROBI – Agence France-Presse
MSF pulls out of Somalia amid growing insecurity

Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) International President Dr. Unni Karunakara addresses journalists during a press conference in Nairobi, Kenya, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. AP Photo/Khalil Senosi

Medical aid agency Doctors Without Borders (MSF) closed all its operations in war-torn Somalia Aug.14, warning of growing insecurity, after 22 years of working in the Horn of Africa trouble spot.

“The closure of our activities is a direct result of extreme attacks on our staff, in an environment where armed groups and civilian leaders increasingly support, tolerate, or condone the killing, assaulting, and abducting of humanitarian aid workers,” MSF president Unni Karunakara told reporters.

The pullout by MSF, an aid agency that has earned a reputation for working in the toughest of conditions, is major blow to the reputation of the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu and will affect hundreds of thousands of people.

“We are ending our programs in Somalia because there is an increasing imbalance between the risks and compromises that our staff must make, and our ability to provide impartial care to the Somali people,” Karunakara said in the Kenyan capital.

MSF has treated more than 300,000 people so far this year alone in Somalia, a statement added.