UN says attacks on aid workers decrease in Somalia in Q1

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Berlin, Germany - November 04: Antonio Guterres, High Commissioner for Refugees of UNHCR, attends a press conference in german foreign office on November 04, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images)

Violent attacks on humanitarian workers operating in Somalia decreased in the first three months compared to a similar period last year, the United Nations humanitarian agency said on Friday.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said one humanitarian worker was killed, four injured, one abducted and one detained between January to March.

In the last quarter of 2020, four humanitarian workers were killed although there were no reports of any humanitarian workers injured, abducted, or detained, said OCHA.

The UN humanitarian agency, however, said that the operating environment remains challenging across Somalia.

“While positive, this trend does not represent any significant easing of access restrictions in itself as incidents remain high and at levels similar to those recorded in the period July to October 2020,” OCHA said in its latest report.

The UN agency said the last quarter of 2020 saw a spike in clan-related violence in Galmudug and Hirshabelle which peaked in January before dropping steadily in February and March.

OCHA’s Access Working Group (AWG) recorded 70 incidents impacting humanitarian operations, with the highest number of incidents occurring in Galmudug (14), Hirshabelle (14), and Jubaland (13).

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