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Horn of Africa This Week

Doctors Without Borders withdraws from Somalia

The International aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) announced in a short video statement last week it would close all programs and pull out of Somalia after 22 years starting this month, citing series of threats and extreme attacks targeting its staff.

The announcement comes in the midst of a polio outbreak in the country.

Michaeleen Doucleef of NPR reported,

“This is the most difficult announcement that I’ve had to make as MSF president,” said at a press conference from Kenya. “Respect for humanitarian principles no longer exists in Somalia today.”

Over the past 22 years, the nonprofit has provided basic and emergency health care to millions in the country through chronic wars and famines.

“Armed groups and civilians are increasingly supporting, tolerating and condoning the killing, assaulting and abuse of humanitarian aid workers,” Karunakara said. “We have reached our limits.”

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