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News: Ethiopian Red Cross decries murder of ambulance driver on duty

Weldu Aregawi, an ambulance driver employed by the Ethiopian Red Cross Society, was killed while on duty in the Central Zone of the Tigray region (Photo: ERCS)

Addis Abeba – The Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) has strongly condemned the tragic killing of Weldu Aregawi, an ambulance driver stationed in the Central Zone of the Tigray region.

Weldu lost his life in the line of duty on Wednesday night when he was shot by unknown assailants.

According to ERCS, Weldu was accompanying a medical professional en route to the ‘Adi Gudem’ village to transport a woman in labor from his workplace, ‘Nebelet.’ Upon reaching the area, he was attacked and shot by unidentified gunmen.

Despite residents rushing to assist, ERCS says Weldu sustained serious injuries. He was quickly taken to the nearby ‘Nebelet Health Centre’ but succumbed to his wounds before reaching the Mekelle Ayder Referral Hospital.

Weldu had served as an ambulance driver in Ikemema since 2016 as part of the ERCS Ambasneiti district’s Central Zone branch.

The ERCS strongly condemns repeated attacks on its staff, ambulances and property. “Such unlawful actions violate acceptable norms and the Geneva Convention protections undertaken by the Ethiopian government,” reads the statement put forward by the organization.

In light of this incident, the ERCS calls for a full investigation and justice for Weldu. The aid organization emphasizes the critical need to protect humanitarian workers and assets under international law.

This tragedy echoes a similar 2022 attack in the ERCS’ Amhara region’s North Gondar branch. Armed militants shot Red Cross driver Mengist Minyil while he was transporting injured Tigray civilians. Patients onboard were also killed, disregarding their protected noncombatant status. AS

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