Kenya Reiterates That it Will Not Pay Ransom for Cuban Doctors, But Hopes to Secure Their Release

Monica Juma spoke about the Cuban doctors kidnapped after her meeting with Mogherini to talk about security in the Horn of Africa. (AmbMonicaJuma)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, 22 May 2019 — Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has ruled out once again negotiating with Al Shabaab militants in Somalia for the rescue of the Cuban doctors kidnapped from Mandera in April.

Mónica Juma, secretary of the cabinet, said that an operation is underway to rescue the two doctors, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday with Federica Mogherini, the High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security of the European Union.

“We believe that we will ensure their release in the ongoing security operation, but politically the government does not negotiate the rescue. We hope to have the doctors back home,” she said.

Last week it emerged that the terrorists, linked to Al Qaeda, ask for a sum of 1.5 million dollars, according to the media in Kenya.

The elders (tribal leaders) of Mandera County, who were sent to negotiate confirmed that they had seen them alive and serving the community in which they remain abducted, in the Jubaland region of Somalia.

Landy Rodríguez Hernández and Assel Herrera Correa were being escorted to their work at Mandera Hospital when they were abducted by an armed group. Some intelligence sources believe that it was a group of criminals who then handed over the doctors to the terrorist group Al Shabaab. In the confrontation, a Kenyan officer died.

Herrera Correa is a specialist in Comprehensive General Medicine from the province of Las Tunas, while his colleague, Landy Rodríguez Hernández, is a specialist in Surgery in the province of Villa Clara.

Juma spoke with Mogherini on Tuesday about commercial relations between Kenya and the European Union, as well as the key role of the African country in regional security. A statement issued by the Kenyan presidency recalled the EU’s commitment to continue supporting peace activities in the Horn of Africa.


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