Three Doctors Without Borders staff ‘brutally murdered’ in Ethiopia’s Tigray

International Medical charity expresses shock, outrage and sadness over the killing of three of its staff in the embattled northern Ethiopian region.

MEKELLE (Ethiopia) – Three employees of the international medical charity Doctors Without Borders [Medecins Sans Frontieres] have been brutally murdered in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the organisation said.

Doctors without Borders said in a statement emergency coordinator Maria Hernandez, assistant coordinator Yohannes Halefom Reda and driver Tedros Gebremariam Gebremichael were travelling on Thursday afternoon when they lost contact with them. On Friday morning, their bodies were found near the vehicle they were traveling in, DWB/MSF said, without providing any further details.

"We condemn this attack on our colleagues in the strongest possible terms and will be relentless in learning what happened. Maria, Yohannes, and Tedros were in Tigray providing assistance to people, and it is unthinkable that they paid for this work with their lives," MSF/DWB added.

The Statement released reads:

“No words can truly convey all our sadness, shock and outrage against this horrific attack, nor will it soothe the loss and suffering of their families and loved ones to whom we relay our deepest sympathy and condolences.”

The deaths of Spanish national Hernandez and Ethiopian nationals Reda and Gebremichael were “a devastating blow to all of us who are part of the organisation both in Ethiopia and in the other countries where MSF operates around the world”, the statement said.

The State Department issued the following Statement:

“We are appalled and deeply saddened to learn about the horrific killings of three Doctors Without Borders staff members in Ethiopia’s Tigray region today. Attacks on humanitarian workers are indefensible and must end immediately. We call for an independent investigation and for the perpetrators to be held accountable for these killings. The Government of Ethiopia ultimately bears full responsibility for ensuring the safety of humanitarian workers and free and unhindered access to humanitarian assistance. A cessation of hostilities is essential to ensure that humanitarian workers can safely assist citizens, prevent further suffering, and address the myriad challenges, including famine.”

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