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Gunmen kidnap WHO’s medical official in Mali

Mahamadou Diawara, a World Health Organisation (WHO) medical official leading efforts to provide health care to remote communities facing insecurity risks and violence, has been abducted by armed men in conflict-torn Mali.

On Monday, Mr Diawara was taken from his car in the town of Menaka, located in an eastern region where militant groups linked to Al Qaeda and Daesh are active. His driver, now receiving medical care, was also brutalised but was left at the scene.

While the motive of the abduction is unknown, the WHO condemned his abduction and called for his immediate release.

“World Health Organisation (WHO) deplores the abduction of Dr Mahamadou Diawara, who was taken by unidentified assailants from his car on 23 January 2023 in the town of Menaka in northern Mali,” the WHO said in a statement.

The global health organisation added, “Dr Diawara, deployed by WHO in Menaka since the beginning of 2020, has been leading efforts to provide medical care to communities that are often remote and face insecurity risks and violence. The driver of his car was also attacked, but the assailants left him behind, and he is recovering from the incident.”

Meanwhile, WHO has extended “our sympathies to the family of Dr Diawara and is working with local authorities to investigate the abduction and ensure our colleague’s quick return to his family.”

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