MSF learns that fourth staff member remains abducted in Darfur
All abducted staff in good health following new contact.
13 March 2009
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) confirms that today, Friday March 13, we managed to speak again to our colleagues, abducted on Wednesday March 11 from Serif Umra, North Darfur, Sudan. MSF confirms that they are in good health and cannot comment further about this. MSF also confirms new information – that it is four MSF staff that remain abducted, and not three. Earlier reports received by MSF that our two Sudanese staff had been released were inaccurate: only one national staff member was released. The four MSF staff that remain abducted are an Italian doctor, a Canadian nurse, a French coordinator and a Sudanese watchman. All four work for the Belgian section of MSF. Our thoughts remain with the colleagues and families of all four abducted staff. MSF is doing everything possible to determine their whereabouts and ensure their safe and swift return. As a result of the abduction of our staff, all remaining MSF sections are evacuating almost all international staff from projects in Darfur. A number of Sudanese staff will also be relocated. In some locations, projects will continue with minimal services for now. An essential skeleton team is following the case of the abducted MSF colleagues. This evacuation of staff means that MSF's essential medical projects in Darfur have been drastically reduced. As a consequence of these abductions, it is not clear whether it will be possible for MSF to continue with any medical activities in light of the deteriorated security situation. MSF remains deeply concerned for our abducted staff and the populations to whom MSF teams have been providing medical aid. At this stage MSF does not have any further information.