Statement from the UN in Somalia on the looting of UN compounds

20 Jul 2009

Nairobi, KENYA – Two UN compounds were looted today in Baidoa and Wajid, Somalia. Al Shabaab men entered both compounds and took UN equipment and vehicles.

In Baidoa, the looting of all emergency communication equipment and the lack of security officers makes it impossible for the UN as a whole to continue its operations.  We deeply regret having to relocate staff and temporarily suspend our operations in Baidoa.  We are expecting authorities to reconsider these decisions and allow us to address the critical humanitarian situation in Baidoa and its region.

In Wajid, where the minimum security conditions are unchanged, operations will continue. Al Shabab members visited the WFP compound in Wajid for a meeting. They took away two cars and some furniture that were not WFP property.

These two events happened as Al shabaab broadcast today a message on local Somali radio calling for the closing of the offices of UNDP, UNPOS and UNDSS in Somalia.

The UN is re-assessing the situation on the ground and is optimistic that the minimal conditions on the ground will be restored to allow the critical humanitarian work to resume in Baidoa and continue elsewhere in Somalia.

Contact Information

Bénédicte Walter, UN spokesperson, Mobile: +254-73-76-71-714
Email: benedicte.walter@undp.org