Ethiopia: MSF horrified by the brutal murder of three MSF colleagues

26 Jun 2021

Today we are in mourning after receiving confirmation of the death of three of our colleagues who we were working in Tigray. Maria Hernandez, our emergency coordinator, Yohannes Halefom Reda, our assistant coordinator and Tedros Gebremariam Gebremichael our driver were travelling yesterday afternoon when we lost contact with them. This morning the vehicle was found empty and a few metres away, their lifeless bodies.


A mother holds her baby –affected by malaria - while an MSF medical team member attends to them. Between May and September, malaria is one of the main morbidities for refugees and the host community in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia. © 2018 Gabriele François Casini / MSF

No words can truly convey all our sadness, shock and outrage against this horrific attack, nor will it soothe the loss and suffering of their families and loved ones to whom we relay our deepest sympathy and condolences.

We condemn this attack on our colleagues in the strongest possible terms and will be relentless in understanding what happened. Maria, Yohaness and Tedros were in Tigray providing assistance to people and it is unthinkable that they paid for this work with their lives. We are in close contact with their families and ask for the utmost respect and privacy for them at this incredibly difficult time.

Maria Hernandez, 35, from Madrid, started her MSF work in 2015 in the Central African Republic and had since worked in Yemen, Mexico and Nigeria. Yohannes Halefom Reda, a coordination assistant, was 31 and from Ethiopia and joined the organisation in February. Tedros Gebremariam Gebremichael, 31, also from Ethiopia, had been a driver for MSF since May.

The death of Maria, Yohannes and Tedros is a devastating blow to all of us who are part of the organisation both in Ethiopia and in the other countries where MSF operates around the world. We share a deep sense of sadness, outrage and dismay, and are deeply sorry for their families.