UN chief shocked by killing of humanitarian workers in Ethiopia's Tigray

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday expressed shock at the killing of three staff members of Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF, or Doctors Without Borders) in Ethiopia's Tigray.

"I am deeply shocked by the murder of three Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) humanitarian workers in Tigray, Ethiopia. This is totally unacceptable and an appalling violation of international humanitarian law. The perpetrators must be found and severely punished," he said in a statement.

Guterres expressed solidarity with UN humanitarian partners who are risking their lives to provide protection and relief to people in Tigray.

The trio were traveling on Thursday afternoon when the MSF lost contact with them. On Friday morning, their vehicle was found empty and their lifeless bodies were lying a few meters away, said the MSF in a press release.

Since November 2020, the Ethiopian government has been undertaking military operations against the Tigray People's Liberation Front, which ruled Tigray.

Guterres on Friday strongly condemned Tuesday's airstrike on the village of Togoga in Tigray, which is reported to have killed many civilians.

Guterres reiterated the need for all parties to uphold their responsibilities under international humanitarian law and international human rights law and to ensure the protection of civilians. He called for an independent and swift investigation into this incident. He further called for an immediate end to the fighting in Tigray and for urgent steps to peacefully resolve the conflict. 

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