IRRC No. 888

Thirty years of working within the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in a country affected by conflict

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During the Ogaden War between Somalia and Ethiopia (1977–1978), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) began providing medical and surgical assistance to wounded combatants and civilians in Mogadishu.When the war broke out, I was Director of the Medical Services Department of the Ministry of Health, and I had been elected President of the Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS) a few years earlier. In this dual assignment,I had the opportunity to observe the ICRC's operations in Somalia during the Ogaden War in providing humanitarian assistance to thousands of victims of war, prisoners of war, and refugees. Since then I have been working alongside the ICRC throughout the different phases of the conflict, on many different projects, and this has allowed me to gain a unique perspective on the way the organisation has approached its work in a war-torn country like Somalia.

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