Burkina Faso: MSF condemns brutal and deliberate killing of two employees
Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) condemns in the strongest terms the murder of two employees in northwest Burkina Faso.
We are now suspending medical activities in the Boucle du Mouhoun region.
On the morning of Wednesday 8 February, an MSF vehicle – clearly identified as such – was carrying a medical team of four on the road between Dédougou and Tougan. It was then targeted by armed men who shot at the passengers.
Two employees were killed, while two others managed to escape.
The two victims, both from Burkina Faso, had been employed by MSF as a driver since July 2021 and as a logistics supervisor since June 2020. They were 39 and 34 years old, respectively.
“We are shocked and outraged by this killing. This is a deliberate and intentional attack on a clearly identified humanitarian team, during its medical work,” says Dr Isabelle Defourny, President of MSF France.
“Our priority is to support the two colleagues who survived the attack, as well as the families and loved ones of our missing colleagues. We are also going to engage with all the parties to the conflict to understand what happened.”
We have suspended activities in the region until we have a better understanding of this tragic event.
The crisis in Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso is facing an unprecedented political, security and humanitarian crisis, resulting in the displacement of nearly two million people following fighting between armed groups and government forces.
Between July and December 2022, MSF teams working in four regions of Burkina Faso provided nearly 400,000 primary health consultations and assisted nearly 4,300 women to give birth.
MSF, conflict and war
In conflicts and war zones, MSF does not take sides. We provide medical care based on needs alone and try to reach the people who need help most. If warring parties see aid organisations as being on one side of a conflict, we are less likely to gain access to those in need and more likely to be attacked.
One of the ways in which we are able to demonstrate our independence to warring parties is to ensure that all our funding for work in conflicts comes from private individuals – we do not accept government grants.