21 May 2019

Kenya: Forget Ransom for Cuban Doctors, Kenyan Government Tells Al-Shabaab

The Government of Kenya has said that it will not pay the Sh150 million ransom demand from Al Shabaab for the release of two Cuban doctors who were abducted in Mandera on April 12.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma on Tuesday said that the government was not planning to pay the amount as a condition for the release of Dr Assel Herera and Dr Landy Rodriguez.

RANSOM DEMAND

"On the matter of Cuban doctors, this is an ongoing operation and we believe that we are going to secure their release but as a matter of policy, this government does not negotiate with terrorists about ransom," the CS said.

Last week, Somali elders, who had been sent to negotiate for the two doctors' release, said the two were being detained by Al-Shabaab who are demanding the said ransom.

The elders also said that the doctors were being held captive between the towns of Buale and El-Ade in Somalia where they are treating militants.

HEAVY CASUALTIES

Intelligence reports have in the recent past said that Al-Shabaab has been suffering heavy casualties but the group is lacking medical equipment for its wounded fighters.

The two were kidnapped while they were on their way to hospital where they worked. Since then, Kenyan soldiers have been trying to trace them in order to rescue them to no avail.

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