MSF announces temporary suspension of activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Press release: Goma/Brussels, April 28, 2001, - On Thursday April 26, six workers from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were murdered in eastern DRC. Two cars from the ICRC were also taken during the ambush. The humanitarian community is shocked and deeply saddened by this criminal act. MSF sends their most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the friends and families of the victims. MSF sees this most violent act as a direct attack against the humanitarian community working in the DRC. We are deeply concerned about the consequences of these killings, which have put into question the ability to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of DRC - a population in great need. In solidarity with the ICRC, to protest such a brutal act of violence, and to clearly reinforce the principle that humanitarian workers must be able to carry out their mandate in full safety, MSF will suspend all activities in DRC for a period of three days, beginning April 30, 2001. During this time, MSF programmes will be limited to emergencies and life-saving medical services only. MSF has been working in DRC since 1985. At present 36 international volunteers and 450 local staff make up the MSF team.