ETHIOPIA: “Respect Our Neutrality,” CRS Says After Killing of Staff in Amhara Region


By Paschal Norbert                                                                

BALTIMORE, APRIL 20, 2023 (CISA) – “Humanitarian workers must be able to operate without fear of harm, and it is essential that all actors respect our neutrality,” stated the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in an April 17 statement condemning the Easter Sunday, April 9 attack that killed two of their staff in Ethiopia.

CRS underscored the “critical importance” of respecting the neutrality of frontline humanitarian workers who in many cases face significant threats, including harassment and intimidation, criminality, and direct and indirect attacks.

They explained, “This safe space is necessary for us to operate at scale and continue providing essential lifesaving support to millions of people in need.”

“CRS operates across all parts of Ethiopia where needs are critical, including areas marked by conflict and high tensions, and we rely on all parties involved to allow us to carry out our work,” they said.

To date, according to CRS the details of the murder of Chuol Tongyik, a security manager, and Amare Kindeya, a driver, remain unknown.

“As we continue to mourn the loss of Chuol and Amare, we wish to express our sincere gratitude to all the individuals and groups who have shown the families of our deceased colleagues and us an outpouring of support during this difficult time. These messages of condolences and prayers have helped us navigate the emotional and logistical challenges that come with such a devastating loss,” said the international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States.