Relief SCENE:Health
WHO Aid Worker Held in Somalia
Al-Shabaab Arrest Local Worker for Unknown Reasons
By AK 07/04/2011
Militant Islamist group al-Shabaab is holding a World Health Organization employee in the central town of Baidoa, although the reasons behind the arrest are unclear.

According to local staff, Farah Abdi Nur, a polio specialist, was taken from his home in late June. The office computer was also confiscated for investigations.

“They said they will tell us the reasons for the arrest after their investigation,” a local staff member told Somalia Report.

One of Farah’s close relatives said he was being held and interrogated in Baidoa, while his wife said she expected him to be released once the investigation was complete.

Somalia Report was unable to reach WHO spokespeople in Somalia, the African headquarters or the main headquarters in Geneva for official confirmation of the report.

Al-Shabaab is distrustful of international aid agencies, and has halted their work in many areas under its control – including the Bay Region, where it blocked polio vaccinations.