26/10/08 (B471) Shabelle / l’ONG Care qui apportait une aide humanitaire indispensable en Somalie, annonce la suspension de toutes ses activité spour assurer la sécurité de son personnesl // CARE charity halts aid works in Somali regions “due security threats” (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

Following waves of aid worker’s killings the aid organization has announced to bring to a halt its aid operation in Somalia’s south and central regions following threats through the media and other kinds of threats to them.

In a statement it issued CARE says it preferred the safety of its workers rather than aid operations in the southern and central region of the lawlessness horn Africa country.

The statement was written as follows:-

A public threat delivered through the media by the spokesperson of an Islamic group has increased security concerns for CARE International, a humanitarian agency that has been operating in Somalia since 1981. This has resulted in the immediate suspension of food aid delivery meant to assist 1 million people in South Central Somalia.

CARE International has approximately 100,000 MT of food aid already committed for delivery in South Central Somalia between now and March of next year.

“We take security threats of this nature very seriously,” says David Gilmour, Country Director for CARE Somalia. “The safety of our staff is paramount to our operations. These kinds of targeted and public threats ultimately force us to choose between the safety of our colleagues and our commitment to deliver aid to hundred of thousands of Somalis in South Central Somalia who are in desperate need of assistance.”

CARE absolutely condemns any form of violence against human life and requires its staff to uphold the humanitarian principles first and foremost. CARE staff has an obligation to remain politically neutral and to put the needs of suffering people above all else.

The organization has a strict humanitarian mandate to assist people in need and promote peace and stability around the world. The organization is not faith-driven, is non-governmental and is committed to remain politically neutral and to serving individuals and families in the poorest communities in the world.

The situation in Somalia is extremely tense with dozens of civilian casualties every week, periodic abductions and killings of aid workers. Since the beginning of 2008, at least 28 relief workers have lost their lives, while 12 remain hostage.

Two of the abducted people are CARE staff.

The current threat to CARE International and the resulting suspension of food aid is increasing the number of people who are suffering in South Central Somalia and putting pressure on Puntland and Somaliland due to people who are fleeing in search of food, water and safety.

The United Nations estimates that millions of Somalis are currently dependent on emergency humanitarian assistance from outside due to a combination of factors including prolonged conflict and rising global food prices. CARE International is one of the largest non governmental agencies assisting people in South Central Somalia.