Aid workers for Médecins Sans Frontières in Paraguay. Two Spanish workers for MSF were abducted in Kenya on Oct. 13, 2011. Photo by: Emiliano Lucero / CC BY-NC

Oct. 13 will mark a full year since two Spanish aid workers were abducted from the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya.

Montserrat Serra and Bianca Thiebaut were abducted by suspected members of the militant group al-Shabab. Their employer, international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières, has been continuously calling for their immediate release.

“MSF again strongly condemns this attack,” the organization said in a statement.

It is not clear if MSF had any contact with its two staff members since the abduction. They were last spotted in Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region in December 2011.

The kidnapping has had a dampening effect on MSF’s operations in Somalia. The organization suspended all nonemergency projects in April, followed by an announcement in September that expansion of activities will be put on hold until Serra and Thiebaut are released.

MSF currently maintains 12 programs across the country, including providing assistance to Somali refugees.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.

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