MSF keeps mum on reports staff sold to Somali pirates

A Médecins Sans Frontières tent. Photo by: Pierre Holtz for OCHA / CC BY-NC-SA

The international humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières refuses to comment on yet another report on the whereabouts of its abducted aid workers.

An article from Somalia Report claims Montserrat Serra and Blanca Thiebaut, the Spanish aid workers abducted in October at the Dadaab refugee camp, were sold to pirates from Somalia’s Mudug region. One of the pirates supposedly told Somalia Report the hostages are now in the town of Harardhere in Mudug and that they are “doing well.”

The hostages were allegedly bought from al-Shabab for $200,000, Somalia Report says.

When asked to comment on this latest development, MSF told Devex “at the moment we are not giving out any statement regarding the reports.”

The organization, however, asked for continued discretion on the matter.

“Rumours, speculations and unconfirmed information may endanger our colleagues’ security and a safe resolution of the abduction and may increase the suffering of their families, friends and colleagues,” MSF Somalia Information Officer Yahya Dahiye said via email.

The aid workers have been in hostage for almost three months. In December, MSF received reports that the two have been spotted in the Afgoye district in Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region. The reports, however, remain unconfirmed.

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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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