Abducted MSF staff spotted in Somalia

The two Spanish aid workers of the international humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières abducted in October have reportedly been spotted in the Afgoye district in southern Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region.

According to a press statement released by the organization, MSF received several reports from local sources that two foreign women, fitting the description of Montserrat Serra and Blanca Thiebaut, were seen in the streets of Afgoye in the afternoon of Dec. 4.

MSF is establishing contacts with representatives on the ground and requesting local support to verify the reports and, if found true, ensure the two are safe, well-treated, and that their forthcoming release might be arranged soon. As of press time, however, the organization says it cannot confirm whether they were the ones described.

The two aid workers were abducted by armed men — suspected to be members of the al-Shabab militant group in Somalia — Oct. 13 while providing humanitarian assistance to refugees at the Dadaab camp in Kenya.

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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.