UN Mourns Death Of Prominent Somali Relief Worker

Published: Tue 20 Nov 2007 09:46 AM
Somalia: UN official mourns passing of prominent relief worker
The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Somalia today paid tribute to the memory of Madina Mohamud Elmi, a prominent relief worker who was killed in crossfire on Friday.
"Somalia has lost one of its heroines," Eric Laroche said.
Ms. Madina "was present at the epicenter of the unfolding emergency, assisting an aid distribution to her displaced compatriots, when she was hit by a stray bullet in a tragic accident."
In a statement, he recalled that her leadership of women's groups and strong sense of purpose "earned her the moniker of Madina General, as she was known by those who worked with her and admired her."
Mr. Laroche pointed out that the relief worker and activist cut down by violence had devoted her life to peace. "Defending vulnerable groups such as the displaced and seeking sustainable peace in Somalia was her vocation. She was a strong advocate for the disbandment of militia check-points and the reform of armed militia."
On the broader challenge of being an aid worker in Somalia, he said: "It is one of the most dangerous places to work, and one of the places where aid workers are the least protected. Our colleagues deserve our respect and recognition, and even more, the utmost protection."
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