Media Statement of Abdulkadir Nur Regarding Recent Associated Press AllegationsBy Deeqa Construction Water Well Drilling Co. Ltd., PRNE
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
NAIROBI, Kenya, August 18, 2011 -
The following is a statement issued by Abdulkadir Nur of DEEQA Construction & Water Well Drilling Co. Ltd.:
The Associated Press (AP) ran a story on August 15 reporting the results of its “investigation” of the alleged theft of humanitarian food aid intended for distribution by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in Somalia. That story cited to eight anonymous “Somali businessmen” who claim they recently bought WFP food rations from me, and that I operate several warehouses around Mogadishu from which I sell WFP rations. These reckless allegations are absolutely false.
Neither I nor my wife (nor my US counsel) were ever contacted by the AP for our response to these very serious allegations. Had we been contacted, we could have clarified and substantiated several readily verifiable facts clearly refuting the claims of the anonymous “businessmen.”
First, I have not been involved in the transportation of any WFP humanitarian aid since March 2010-a fact that could easily been verified with WFP. Although I and the company with which I am associated, DEEQA Construction & Water Well Drilling Co. Ltd. (DEEQA), were actively involved in the delivery of humanitarian aid in Somalia for more than twenty years, I have not been a WFP food delivery contractor for more than 16 months. The WFP can verify that DEEQA has not received any food from WFP for delivery since March 2010.
Second, the “Mogadishu warehouse” operated by DEEQA is empty of food, and has been so for 16 months. The allegation that I am selling WFP food from warehouses around the city is therefore baseless. Indeed, DEEQA’s only warehouse in the Abdiaziz area of Mogadishu was destroyed during fighting in the city and looted-even its roof was taken. DEEQA does not have any other food warehouse in Mogadishu. A simple visit to this warehouse would quickly and easily confirm that they are not being used to house and sell WFP rations.
Third, neither I nor DEEQA own or operate a warehouse “behind the Nasa Hablod hotel at a roundabout called ‘Kilometer Four,’” as alleged in the AP article. It is clear that no one took any steps to verify the existence of any such warehouse.
Fourth, the article’s claim regarding payments to a Dahabshiil account is similarly baseless, and no businessmen have made any transfer of funds to any account at Dahabshiil on my behalf.
Finally, my wife does not currently “head the powerful” Somali Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that was referenced in the article. My wife stood down as the head of that organization in 1997-another easily verifiable fact. The implication in the article that my wife may be participating in the diversion of humanitarian aid is patently false.
There is simply no basis for contending that I am actively receiving, much less selling on the black market, WFP aid intended for the starving people of my homeland. It personally pains me and my wife that anyone would suggest that we would in any way deprive the citizens of Somalia of the food they so desperately need in this time of crisis. Having devoted more than 20 years of our lives to the cause of alleviating hunger in our homeland, we are deeply troubled that no one affiliated with the AP made any inquiries regarding these baseless allegations, or provided us with an opportunity to respond and preserve our reputation prior to launching our names into the international media. More important that that, we are heartbroken that the false statements contained in the article detract from what should be the true focus of the international community-alleviating the suffering of the Somali people.
Abdulkadir Mohamed “Eno” Nur
DEEQA Construction & Water Well Drilling Co. Ltd.
Media, +252-1-215508, deeqasom at deeqa.com
Tags: Africa, August 18, Deeqa Construction & Water Well Drilling Co. Ltd., kenya, Nairobi, Somalia