On 17 November a humanitarian worker employed by Médecins du Monde was killed in Damboa in Borno State in north-eastern Nigeria.
The MdM staff member, who was employed as Human Resources Coordinator in Nigeria, was attacked by a member of the Nigerian armed forces last Thursday. The precise details of this tragic incident are not yet known.
“We are devastated by the loss of our colleague who was murdered as she was working to bring aid to communities in the north-east of the country. Our thoughts are with her family”, said Jiten Asem, MdM France Head of Mission in Nigeria.
Dr Florence Rigal, President of MdM France, said: “Médecins du Monde is in mourning. We condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms. It is essential that humanitarian and healthcare workers are able to deliver vital aid to communities without coming under attack.”
This tragedy has left MdM in shock. It demonstrates once again the grave challenges that face NGOs in the humanitarian field. Year by year our room to operate is increasingly constrained, forcing us to work in conditions that put our teams at risk. Yet we are more determined than ever to maintain our presence alongside people living in crisis settings.
“We call for complete transparency on the part of the Nigerian military and civilian authorities and count on their full cooperation in investigating this tragedy. Our colleague’s family, her colleagues in Nigeria and around the world and the whole international humanitarian community have the right to know what led the perpetrator to commit this crime”, MdM France President added.
Whatever the circumstances of this case, it is important to reiterate that all the parties to a conflict must respect international humanitarian law and guarantee the security of those who bring vital aid to civilians. In particular, we call on the Nigerian Army and the Government of Nigeria to accept their responsibility for this incident and to ensure that nothing like this can happen again.
- 2022 has already seen four incidents that have affected humanitarian workers in Nigeria, two of them in Borno State. This fifth incident was the deadliest since 2020.
- Médecins du Monde has been working in north-eastern Nigeria since 2016 to improve access to healthcare for vulnerable communities. In 2021, we held over 260,000 consultations providing medical, antenatal, mental health and psychosocial support for around 300,000 Nigerians.
Aurélie Godet, Press Officer: email@example.com // +33 (0)6 69 76 31 18