A doctor working for the World Health Organization (WHO) Mahamadou Diawara was kidnapped in Mali on Monday, January 23, 2023.
Diawara was kidnapped by unidentified assailants from his car in the town of Menaka in northern Mali, the organisation said in a statement on Tuesday.
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.
According to the statement, the assailants also attacked his driver but left him behind. The driver is reportedly recovering from the incident.
The motive for the abduction is unclear.
WHO sympathised with 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”.
Mali is battling a rampant Islamist insurgency that hijacked a Tuareg rebellion in the north in 2012.
Militants have seized swathes of territory across the Sahel, killing thousands and uprooting close to 2 million people, despite costly international efforts to quash them.