22 May 2019

Kenya: Govt Rules Out Talks With Al-Shabaab Over Abducted Cuban Doctors

The Kenyan government will not negotiate with Al-Shabaab militants for the release of the two abducted Cuban doctors, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma said Tuesday.

Speaking when she met with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Frederica Mogherini, CS Juma said negotiating ransom is not a government policy.

"We do not negotiate ransom as a matter of government policy but the operation to rescue the two Cuban doctors is ongoing," she said.

The two doctors, Dr Herera Corea, a general practitioner and Dr Landy Rodriguez, a surgeon, were abducted on April 12 while they were on their way to work in Mandera.

A police officer was killed during the incident.

On Tuesday, CS Juma denied media reports that the abductors are demanding Sh150 million in ransom.

Last week, Somali elders who had gone to a remote village in Jubbaland, Somalia, where the two doctors were believed to be held said the militants demanded Sh150 million in ransom.

From both Mandera and Bulahawo in Somalia, the elders had been sent to the village located between Buale and El-Adde to negotiate for the release of the doctors.

In the Somali community, elders are highly regarded and have the ability to resolve dangerous and sometimes complex issues.

The elders said that the two medics are alive and offering treatment to the community in a restricted area controlled by the Al-Shabaab.


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