Today we held a moment of silence for Elsa Serfass, our colleague who was killed on Monday, the 11th of June, by a stray bullet in the Central African Republic. I can't help but wonder about the term stray bullet... I think when you aim a loaded weapon at a car full of people, the term "stray bullet" implies an accident, and the kind of violent death that Elsa suffered was no accident, even if it was not the intention of the people firing the gun to kill her. This kind of violence, this lack of respect for human life is perhaps the greatest tradgedy in our world, and it is why it is so important that people like Elsa, people who are courageous and young and full of optimism and hope continue to work with those who have come to understand that life is so easily disposable, that their own life, and the lives of others have no value...so that perhaps, these people might come to understand, instead, that life is worth something, worth living, and it is not ok to just take it away with a "stray" bullet.
We are all saddened by the tragic loss of this young woman, and the loss of the life she had yet to live. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends and all of the MSF staff who worked side-by-side with this amazing young woman during what must be an unimagineably horrible time. May your spirit soar through the African skies, may it find it's way home, dear Elsa.