Doctors Without Borders Calls on Iraqi Authorities to Do All They Can to Bring About Immediate Release of Two Aid Workers Missing in Baghdad

Valérie Batselaere/MSF
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Brussels/Paris, April 7, 2003 – Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) announced today it still has no news about two MSF volunteers who disappeared Wednesday, April 2, in Baghdad. It is reasonable to assume that Iraqi officials are holding the two men. The four other volunteers from the six-person MSF team that has been present in Baghdad for several weeks are still in the Iraqi capital.

The two missing volunteers are Francois Calas, the 43-year-old head of mission from France, and Ibrahim Younis, a 31-year-old logistician of Sudanese descent. Both men are highly experienced aid workers. Francois Calas has worked with MSF since 1988 in a variety of emergency situations. In November 2001, he led the MSF team that re-entered Kabul, Afghanistan after a two-month absence. Ibrahim Younis has worked with MSF since 1997 as a logistics coordinator and water and sanitation engineer in emergency situations (conflicts, natural disasters, and refugee crises.) He is currently a member of MSF's Emergency Response Team in Brussels.

MSF calls on the Iraqi authorities to do everything in their power to allow for a swift and positive resolution of this situation.

MSF's team of six volunteers has been in Baghdad for several weeks providing support and medical supplies to al Kindi hospital, in northeast Baghdad. But all of MSF's activities in Iraq have been suspended.