MSF Calls For the Immediate and Unconditional Release of Its Two Employees Abducted in Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo

Valérie Batselaere/MSF
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Geneva/New York, June 4, 2005 - The two Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) staff abducted on June 2 near Jina in Ituri District, north of Bunia, have still not been freed by their abductors.

The medical humanitarian organization calls for the immediate and unconditional release of its two employees.

In the meantime, MSF urges all parties involved in the conflict to refrain from any activities on the ground that could jeopardize the safe release of its employees.

MSF teams of volunteers have always worked with total independence, neutrality and impartiality since they started their intervention in Ituri in 2003. Christian Captier, General Director of MSF Switzerland adds that "the only goal of MSF has always been to provide medical assistance to the Congolese people without discrimination."

Faced with the present situation, MSF has reluctantly decided to suspend all its medical activities outside Bunia. However, in the town of Bunia, the MSF hospital 'Bon Marchéé' will continue to assist all patients who may require medical or surgical attention.

Since 2003, MSF teams have been conducting emergency medical activities for all people of Ituri regardless of race, ethnic or religious affiliation, while respecting the most basic rules of humanitarian intervention independently from all military and political actors.