TYN open letter – Statement on MSF attack
(Tigray Youth Network Statement – Text)
June 26, 2021
London, June 26, 2021 – It is with immense regret and sadness that we write this statement regarding the murder of Médecins Sans Frontières staff members Maria Hernandez, Yohannes Halefom Reda, and Tedros Gebremariam Gebremichael while working in Tigray on June 24, 2021. It is devastating to see the lives of three individuals who had committed their lives to serving those less fortunate, extinguished with such cruelty.
This tragedy follows countless calls to protect civilians and humanitarian workers serving civilian targets in Tigray. There are now 12 humanitarian workers who were killed in Tigray since the war began in November 2020 — 9 of whom were killed by June 1, 2021. The international community remains hesitant to act on what are evident and evidenced war crimes and egregious crimes against humanity. The direct result of their inaction is the continued loss and destruction of human lives throughout Tigray.
The Ethiopian and Eritrean governments’ impunity from international humanitarian laws is a threat not just to the far away civilians in Tigray, it is a threat to us all and a threat to the global systems that provide us our civil freedoms. It is time the international community steps up and stops granting carte blanche to the violators of those shared laws.
MSF has shown continued courage and commitment to the beliefs and ethos of humanitarian assistance and have from the start of the war provided continuous relief to the Tigrayan population. We will forever be grateful for their service. We thank Maria, Tedros and Yohannes for their humanity and service to the Tigrayan people and will forever hold them in our hearts and memories. We express our sincere condolences to their families and loved ones, and honour them in this time of mourning.
May their souls rest in peace.
Tigray Youth Network, UK
211 Clapham Road
London SW9 0QH