from ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – AN international medical humanitarian organisation has suspended activities in some parts of Ethiopia’s volatile Tigray region after the recent murder of three of its staff.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) announced the suspension of activities in Abi Adi, Adigrat and Axum, in central and eastern Tigray following the incident.
“At this terrible time, we have made the extremely painful but necessary decision to suspend our activities in several areas of Tigray,” said Teresa Sancristoval, MSF operations director.
“Almost two weeks since the murders of our colleagues, no one has claimed responsibility and the circumstances around their deaths remain unclear,” the official added on Thursday.
The deceased had been working in the area since February 2021.
“The murder of our colleagues – María, Tedros and Yohannes – is a tragic example of the complete disregard for human life that our teams have witnessed in this conflict,” Sancristoval said.
Since the conflict in Tigray began in November 2020, medical staff and aid workers have been directly targeted, while health facilities and ambulances have been looted, destroyed or exploited for military purposes.
“The levels of violence against civilians and the atrocities committed in Tigray are utterly shocking,” Sancristoval added.
MSF has over the past six months provided emergency medical treatment to 9 440 people in Abi Adi, Adigrat and Axum.
Sancristoval noted the decision to suspend activities would leave a gap in lifesaving assistance.
“We know that countless patients will go unattended and some of them will die; we know that the burden on what little remains of the health system will be crushing.”
– CAJ News