Three Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) staff members were killed 24 June 2021 in an apparent attack in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. Marta Cañas, MSF general director, released the following statement June 25, 2021, on behalf of the organization:
We are in mourning after receiving confirmation of the deaths of three of our colleagues who were working in Tigray. María Hernández, our emergency coordinator, Yohannes Halefom Reda, our assistant coordinator, and Tedros Gebremariam Gebremichael, our driver, were traveling on June 24 afternoon when we lost contact with them. This morning the vehicle was found empty, and their lifeless bodies were found a few meters away.
No words can truly convey all our sadness, shock, and outrage over this horrific attack, nor can they soothe the loss and suffering of their families and loved ones, to whom we relay our deepest sympathy and condolences.
We condemn this attack on our colleagues in the strongest possible terms and will be relentless in learning what happened. Maria, Yohannes, and Tedros were in Tigray providing assistance to people, and it is unthinkable that they paid for this work with their lives. We are in close contact with their families and ask for the utmost respect and privacy for them at this incredibly difficult time.
María Hernández, 35, from Madrid, started her MSF work in 2015 in Central African Republic and has since worked in Yemen, Mexico and Nigeria. Yohannes Halefom Reda was 31 and from Ethiopia’s Tigray and joined the organization in February. Tedros Gebremariam Gebremichael, 31, also from Ethiopia’s Tigray, had been a driver for MSF since May.
The death of Maria, Yohannes, and Tedros is a devastating blow to all of us who are part of MSF, both in Ethiopia and in the other countries where we operate around the world. We share a deep sadness, outrage, and dismay, and are deeply sorry for their families.