A humanitarian worker has been kidnapped from his car in eastern Mali, according to the head of the World Health Organization (WHO). Mahamadou Diawara, a doctor who works for the global health body, was abducted by unidentified assailants in the district of Ménaka, WHO boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a tweet. He expressed his deep concern and “deplored” the actions of the kidnappers.
“We are working with local authorities to investigate the abduction and ensure our colleague’s quick return to his family,” Mr Tedros added. The safety and security of humanitarian workers are of paramount importance, and the WHO is taking all necessary measures to ensure the safe return of Dr. Diawara. The WHO is calling on the kidnappers to release Dr. Diawara immediately and unharmed, and for the respect of the humanitarian principles.
Eastern Mali has been plagued by violence for years, and despite peace deals, the situation remains fragile and unpredictable. The region is facing a humanitarian crisis, with food insecurity, displacement, and a lack of access to basic services. The kidnapping of a humanitarian worker like Dr. Diawara is a serious violation of the principles of humanity and a severe setback for the provision of life-saving assistance to the people in need.