Nairobi (HAN) October 27, 2020. Regional Security Watch. AFP Sources and HAN Update: (Fale Information) Two Cuban doctors who were kidnapped in Kenya’s northeast in April 2019 and taken over the border to Somalia by suspected Al-Shabaab militants are still in custody (It was false alarm that they have been released, a police official said last week).

But, according to AFP Sources, “It is true they have been freed. The doctors are now safe,” a senior Kenyan police officer told AFP on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the press on the matter… Update: this news was not True…according to the Kenyan sources again. 

The Somali Al-Shabaab gangs in Southern Somalia, who  abducted the  two Cuban doctors in northeastern Kenya are now demanding Ksh150 million ($1.5 million) in ransom. Background: Assel Herrera and Landy Rodriguez,  a general practitioner and a surgeon were abducted in Mandera, near the border of Somalia.

“The efforts continue to rescue the doctors, but I don’t know when they will be released. What I do know is that they are alive wherever they are,” said the police commander of the Kenyan town of Northeastern Kenya, Mandera.”

One of two police officers escorting the doctors to work was shot dead by the attackers, who sped off toward Somalia with their captives. Dr.Herrera and Dr. Rodriguez were part of a 100-member Cuban medical brigade working in Kenya under an agreement between the two countries.A top government official said in May 2019 the kidnappers were demanding $1.5 million for their release. Cuban officials said in December that both Kenya and Cuba were making “huge efforts” to get the doctors released but declined to elaborate on the location of the pair, nor steps that were being taken for the release.Kenyan police said the kidnapping bore the hallmarks of Al-Shabaab, a militant outfit that has been waging an insurgency against Somalia’s foreign-backed government for over a decade.

Photo: Dr.Herrera and Dr. Rodriguez  in Mandera Hospital 2019.

Sources: AFP Update: Geeska Afrika Online & Horn AfricaNewsline (HAN) 2020


The Geeska Afrika Online article was produced by HAN News while it was part of the IGAD2020 Regional Security Watch  for the Coordination of regional security initiatives and diplomatic  Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the news@geeskaafrika.com

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