Abduction of two MSF staff members in Ituri district, Democratic Republic of Congo

MSF calls for its two staff members to be treated with respect and dignity.
Geneva - Since mid-afternoon June 2, 2005, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has lost contact with two of its staff members who were travelling by road in a clearly marked and identified vehicle towards the Jina IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camp situated 35 kms north of Bunia, the capital of Ituri district of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Eye witnesses present at the scene report that they saw the car stopped by armed men and our two colleagues taken out of the vehicle before being led into the bush by their abductors towards an unknown location. MSF condemns this yet unexplained act and demands their unconditional and immediate release. The international independent humanitarian organisation, which has been conducting emergency medical activities in the region for the last four months assisting the displaced populations of the Djugu region, calls for its two staff members to be treated with respect and dignity. MSF volunteers deliver assistance impartially to populations victims of the conflict and maintain complete independence from all political, economic or religious powers. Since June 2003, Médecins Sans Frontières volunteers have been working in Ituri district situated in the northeast of the DRC. There are 37 expatriates and more than 600 national staff delivering assistance to the population through a field hospital located in Bunia and through mobile clinics. They also participate in a massive effort to provide assistance to thousands of displaced persons of the province who have been caught between intense fighting opposing rival militias that continue to ravage the region.