Three MSF Aid Workers Killed in Serious Incident in Kismayo, Somalia

28.01.2008 | Assisting Somalis, Press Release

It is with great sadness that we confirm that this morning three staff from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) were killed in the Somali town of Kismayo, not far from the hospital where we work.

The victims are a Kenyan doctor, a French logistician and a Somali driver. Victor Okumu was a 51-year old surgeon who had previously worked with MSF in several missions such as Darfur and Sierra Leone; Damien Lehalle was a 27-year old logistician on his second mission with MSF; Mohmed Bidhaan Ali was the Somali driver of the car. Another member of the team was lightly wounded.

The bodies of the victims have been transported to the Kismayo hospital and later taken by plane together with the rest of the international team to Nairobi. The rest of the MSF team are unharmed.

The exact circumstances of the dramatic incident are not yet clear, but for the moment our priority is to take care of those most affected by this tragedy, in particular the families of the victims.

We will miss Victor, Damien and Billan greatly and again we extend our heartfelt sympathy to their families and friends.

MSF IN KISMAYO

MSF opened an emergency surgical project in Kismayo in September 2007, providing among others, emergency obstetrics surgery. MSF has worked continuously in Somalia for more than 16 years and is currently providing medical care in eleven regions in the country. There are some 60 MSF international staff and more than 800 national staff now working in Somalia, performing more than 300,000 outpatient consultations and admitting an estimated 10,000 patients every year.

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