Statement on the Killing of Humanitarian Workers in Middle Shabelle

The United States is deeply concerned by the deteriorating security conditions for humanitarian aid workers in Somalia. We strongly condemn attacks on those who are working to protect the lives of the most vulnerable. Such violence must stop and those responsible for such acts must be brought to justice.

On May 27, seven Somali humanitarian health workers and a community member were murdered in an attack on an NGO-run Maternal Child Health Facility in Balcad district, in the Middle Shabelle region.  The U.S. Embassy and USAID Mission to Somalia extend our condolences to the families and colleagues of those killed during this attack.

This incident represents the highest death toll in a targeted violent act against a single NGO in Somalia this year, bringing the total number of NGO staff fatalities in Somalia so far in 2020 to 10. Humanitarian actors in Somalia provide critical assistance to vulnerable Somalis affected by the ongoing crisis. Such acts of violence against humanitarian actors are a particularly serious manifestation of the overall denial of humanitarian access and assistance to vulnerable populations. They violate protections for civilians, including aid workers, established in international humanitarian law.  This incident represents an intensifying pattern of violence against humanitarians.  The United States calls on all parties in Somalia to uphold international humanitarian law and to protect aid workers so that they can continue to help the vulnerable Somali populations with which they work