UN food aid officer released following sixday detention in Somalia

23 October 2007The head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed the release in Mogadishu of its officer Idris Osman, who had been detained by authorities in the Somali capital since 17 October. The head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed the release in Mogadishu of its officer Idris Osman, who had been detained by authorities in the Somali capital since 17 October.“We welcome the release of Idris Osman, and are pleased that he will be reunited with his family,” said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran at WFP headquarters in Rome.The agency had condemned the seizure and detention of Mr. Osman, officer-in-charge of WFP’s Mogadishu office, and called for his immediate and unconditional release. Mr. Osman was seized by the Somali National Security Service at a UN compound in the capital.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon immediately condemned the incursion in a statement by his spokesperson calling for Mr. Osman’s “immediate and unconditional release.” In a telephone conversation last Friday with Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, Mr. Ban again expressed his strong objections to the arrest and detention, repeated his call for Mr. Osman’s immediate and unconditional release, and protested the forceful and illegal entry of armed men into the UN compound. The President of Somalia had agreed on a joint investigation into the incident, according to a UN spokesperson.