Somalia and Cuba Deny Reports of Release of Two Doctors Who Were Kidnapped in Kenya

The government of Somalia and Cuba have denied reports that two Cuban doctors who were kidnapped in Kenya in April 2019 have been released.

The two governments have denied the reports that al-Shabab had released two Cuban doctors who had been held captive by al-Shabaab for a year and a half.

The acting foreign minister of Somalia Ahmed Isse Awad denied saying that the information that has circulated and that has been replicated by various media and on digital social networks, about the alleged release of the two kidnapped Cuban doctors, Assel Herrera Correa and Landy Rodríguez Hernández.

"Some international media have reported that the release of Cuban doctors held hostage in Somalia is not true and it is fabricated," Minister Awad said.

Through a tweet by the Cuban Embassy in the United State, the Cuban Ministry of External Relationship said efforts to rescue the doctors was still ongoing.

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"@CubaMINREX denies the accuracy of news about the alleged release of the two Cuban doctors in Kenya. Major efforts are made to ensure their release and safe return to #Cuba," the Embassy tweeted.

Cuba's General Director of Press and Communication in the office of Ministry of External Relationship, Juan Antonio Fernández Palacios, also confirmed that rescue efforts are still in progress.

"I deny the information circulated at dawn today about the alleged release of the two kidnapped Cuban doctors, Assel Herrera Correa and Landy Rodríguez Hernández. Huge efforts continue to be made to ensure the liberation and safe return to the Homeland," Palacios tweeted.

Two Cuban doctors were kidnapped in Mandera which is several miles northeast of the capital Nairobi in 2019 and since then the Cuban government has been in permanent communication at the highest level for their return, both with Kenya and with Somalia.

The two specialist in Comprehensive General Medicine from Las Tunas province, in the eastern zone; and Landy Rodriguez, a surgeon from Villa Clara (centre), were part of the Cuban medical mission in Kenya.

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