October 13, 2011

A driver was injured and two medical staff are missing after an attack on their vehicle in Dadaab, Kenya, on October 13.

On Thursday, October 13, a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) team suffered an attack in Dadaab, Kenya. Mohamed Hassan Borle, 31, a driver for MSF, was injured during in attack; he remains hospitalized in stable condition and is out of danger. Two international staff, both Spanish citizens, were abducted. As yet, MSF has not been able to establish contact with the two staff members. An MSF crisis team has been set up to deal with this incident.

The two abducted staff members are Montserrat Serra, 40, from Girona (Palafrugell), and Blanca Thiebaut, 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 during this difficult time.

"We have been in regular contact with the families of our colleagues involved and with relevant authorities since the first moments,” said José Antonio Bastos, president of MSF in Spain.
“We are doing all we can to ensure their safe and swift return. Our thoughts are with them and their families.”

The attack jeopardizes assistance to thousands of people in urgent need of humanitarian aid. Following the attack, MSF has had to evacuate part of its team working in Dagahaley and Ifo, two of the three refugee camps in Dadaab. As a consequence, crucial MSF medical services had to be stopped, although life-saving activities continue. A quick and satisfactory solution of the situation is necessary.

The incident also calls for prudence and discretion. In order to facilitate the best and swiftest resolution, MSF will for the moment not provide further information or comment on statements, rumors, or public information related to the incident. MSF also calls on all actors involved to refrain from commenting about it publicly.

“The current publicity around the incident is particularly unhelpful, for it can only hurt the families and jeopardize efforts to get our colleagues back,” said Bastos.

MSF began providing medical assistance in Dadaab in 2009.
 

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