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MSF Condemns Armed Robbery, Aid Worker Intimidation at MSF Compound in Eastern DRC

MSF condemns intimidation against humanitarian aid workers working in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, after its compound was robbed and staff threatened yesterday.

Amsterdam/Kinshasa, April 5, 2012 - The international medical aid organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) strongly condemns intimidation against humanitarian aid workers working in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, after its compound was robbed and staff threatened yesterday.

The attack was one of a several incidents including a kidnapping (and subsequent release) that have threatened the safety of the organization’s staff and patients in the last week.

On April 4, armed and uniformed men broke through the fence surrounding the MSF compound in Baraka in the province of South Kivu, where MSF supports a hospital and several health centers. No staff were injured in the attack. Medical services continue with a reduced number of international staff.

“MSF is providing urgently needed health care to people living in eastern DRC,” said MSF’s Operations Manager Katrien Coppens. “But in order for us to continue providing essential medical services, there has to be a minimum of respect for the safety and security of those carrying out humanitarian aid work.”