SOMALIA: WHO employee killed in terrorist attack on hotel in Mogadishu

Published: June 12, 2023

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday that one of its employees was among those killed in an attack last week on a popular beachside hotel in Somalia’s capital by members of the al-Shabaab terrorist group.

The siege on June 9 left six people dead and another 10 wounded, said police.

“I’m heartbroken that we have lost a @WHO staff member in the recent attack in #Mogadishu, #Somalia. My heartfelt condolences to their families and to everyone who lost a loved one,” the UN agency’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Twitter.

He said the WHO condemns any attacks on civilians and humanitarian workers.

The six people killed in the attack on the Pearl Beach Hotel and Restaurant in Mogadishu included members of the Somali security forces and civilians, according to a Somali police statement issued after security forces ended the hours-long siege.

The Al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab terrorist group claimed responsibility.

According to a recent report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, humanitarian access in Somalia posed significant challenges in the first quarter of 2023.

It said from January to March, humanitarian partners reported a total of 112 access incidents across the country, and at least 12 of these incidents, or 11%, involved violence against humanitarian workers.

Two humanitarian workers died during the period while carrying out their duties in Somalia, according to the UN.