Statements issued by Pilar Bauzá in Argentina.

"It was very hard for me to leave all those people without the humanitarian assistance they so need."

On, 8th of January, Pilar Bauzá, the MSF nurse kidnapped in Bossaso, Somalia, gave a press conference in her country's capital, Buenos Aires, at 4 pm local time. She decided to do this in order to give her first and only public statements following her release on the 2nd of January.

In the press conference she was accompanied by the General Director of MSF Spain, Aitor Zabalgogeazcoa, and the organisation's representative in Argentina, Laura Calonge. Attendance by both national and international media was massive and the press conference was broadcast live online and through various radio stations and TV networks.

 "I would like to express my sadness about the fact that this incident forced the entire team in Bossasso to leave. It was very hard for me to leave all those people without the humanitarian assistance they so need." These were some of her first statements through which Pilar expressed her feelings following her abduction together with Mercedes García in Bossaso. Then she had the opportunity to explain in detail the work she had carried out in the nutritional project that MSF is running in the area, which reaches about 7000 children under five, mostly belonging to displaced families. Pilar had been working in the project since it started five months ago, and she expressed her gratitude to MSF and to the Somali families and patients, as well as to the national staff with whom she collaborated for the "joy" this work brought to her.

When she was asked whether she planned to return to the country, Pilar said she would not be going back, but added: "I am a nurse and I will continue working as such. This is the only job I can do". Aitor also added that it would be irresponsible on the part of MSF to ask her to go back to the same area in which the incident took place.

Pilar Bauzá did not go into much detail about the seven days of her abduction, barring the fact that they slept in the open air in the mountains under the surveillance of a number of kidnappers with whom she never exchanged any words. As for the treatment she received, she stated that "since the very moment one is kidnapped, the psychological treatment ceases to be good, despite the fact that physical treatment was not bad. We ate when they ate. We drank when they drank." And when asked whether she had ever feared for her life, she admitted: "All the time. Since the very beginning. Everything was uncertain and there was nothing but fear"   

Pilar declared she was ignorant of any type of information whatsoever about the details of the negotiations. In this regard, Aitor added that MSF did not take part in the negotiations let alone pay any ransom and has no proof of a ransom having been paid.

Moreover, the MSF nurse said that her aim now is to rest and resume her normal life as soon as possible and go back to work. She mentioned she stays in touch with her project colleague, Mercedes García, with whom she shared her days in captivity. "We were together all the time. Probably that helped us to get out of there" she explained. Now, Mercedes is resting with her family in Spain. 

The press conference lasted about forty-five minutes without additional time for exclusive interviews. Pilar remained calm throughout the press conference and gave special thanks to her family, some of which was present in the room, and her "MSF family", as well as her friends for the constant support received until now.