One Spanish and two Ethiopians from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) were “brutally murdered” this Friday in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, the organization announced.
In a statement, MSF said they lost contact with Spanish emergency coordinator María Hernández, Ethiopian assistant coordinator Yohannes Halefom Reda and driver Tedros Gebremariam Gebremichael, also Ethiopian, on Thursday afternoon.
The vehicle in which they were following was found empty this morning and their bodies were “a few meters away”.
No words can convey our sadness, shock and anger at this horrible attack. We condemn this attack on our colleagues in the strongest terms and we will be tireless in trying to understand what happened. María, Yohaness and Tedros were in Tigray providing assistance to the people and it is inconceivable that they have to give their lives for this work.”, adds the organization, based in Geneva, Switzerland.
For the organization, the death of these three members is “a devastating blow” for all who are part of it.
We express a deep sadness, indignation and consternation”, concluded.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Nobel Peace Prize 2019, launched a military intervention on November 4 to topple the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the elected and ruling party in the state, and declared victory on November 28, although fighting continues.
The Ethiopian federal army was supported by Eritrean forces. After several days, Abiy Ahmed declared victory on 28 November, with the capture of the regional capital, Mekele, against the TPLF, the party that, until the arrival of Abiy Ahmed, controlled Ethiopia for almost 30 years.
However, fighting continued and Eritrean forces are accused of carrying out various massacres and sex crimes.
On Wednesday, an air strike that hit a market in the region killed at least 64 people, according to medical sources.