Amnesty Urges Release of Aid workers in Somalia

Amnesty International has called for the safe, immediate release of two aid workers from Northern Ireland and Kenya feared kidnapped in Somalia.

The humanitarian workers with the aid agency Care International were reportedly seized on Wednesday in the Puntland region in the north of war-torn Somalia.

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland programme director said that while this was a comparatively peaceful area of Somalia, the situation was dangerous.

“It is important and urgent that these aid workers are released unharmed. Somalia has been in state of chaos for the last sixteen years, with renewed heavy fighting in and around the capital Mogadishu in recent months.”

“The situation remains dangerous for the civilian population, including humanitarian workers. In March a well-known Somali human rights defender was murdered in the capital.”

“While Puntland has escaped much of the worst of the violence, it has a reputation for banditry and a financial motive may be behind this apparent kidnapping. Amnesty International calls on those responsible to ensure the safe and immediate return of the two workers.”

“We urge the authorities to investigate the kidnapping and bring the perpetrators to justice, and provide better protection for humanitarian and human rights workers.”

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