MSF Names Two Spanish Abductees, Crucial Medical Activities Stopped

Friday, October 14, 2011 - 22:04

On 13 October 2011, an Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) team suffered an attack in Dadaab, Kenya. One of the MSF drivers, Mohamed Hassan Borle, 31, was injured during this attack. His medical condition is stable, he is out of danger and remains hospitalised. Two international staff, both Spanish, were taken. As yet, MSF has not been able to establish contact with the two staff taken. A crisis team has been set up to deal with this incident.

The two Spanish colleagues abducted are Montserrat Serra, aged 40, from Girona (Palafrugell) and Blanca Thiebaut, aged 30, from Madrid, both working as logisticians for MSF in the Dadaab Refugee Camp. Their families have been informed. MSF is calling on all media to respect the privacy of the families in this difficult time.
 
"We are in regular contact with the families of our colleagues involved and relevant authorities since the first moments. We are doing all we can to ensure their safe and swift return. Our thoughts are with them and their families", says José Antonio Bastos, president of MSF in Spain.
 
Following the attack, MSF has evacuated part of its team working in Dagahaley and Ifo, two of the three refugee camps in Dadaab. As a consequence, crucial medical activities had to be stopped. However, MSF is still maintaining its life-saving activities.
 
This attack is jeopardising the assistance to thousands of people in urgent need of humanitarian aid and a quick and satisfactory solution is necessary.
 
These incidents call for prudence and discretion. In order to facilitate the best and swiftest resolution of the incident, MSF will not provide further information for the moment nor will it comment on statements, rumours or public information related to it. MSF is also calling on all actors involved to refrain from commenting publicly about this incident. “The current publicity around the incident is particularly unhelpful, for it can only hurt the families and jeopardise efforts to get our colleagues back”, says Bastos.
 
MSF started providing medical assistance in Dadaab in 2009.