News / Africa

MSF: Kenya Incursion in Somalia Threatens Rescue of Kidnapped Workers

UNHCR's Ifo Extension camp outside Dadaab, eastern Kenya, 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Somali border,  August 5, 2011.
UNHCR's Ifo Extension camp outside Dadaab, eastern Kenya, 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Somali border, August 5, 2011.
Gabe Joselow

The medical aid group Doctors Without Borders says it still is waiting for information on the whereabouts of two aid workers kidnapped in Kenya and believed to be held hostage in Somalia. An official with the group says it fears Kenya's military incursion into Somalia may compromise efforts to rescue the two women.  

Doctors Without Borders, known by its French acronym MSF, says it has no information on who was responsible for abducting two Spanish aid workers from the Dadaab refugee complex in Kenya last week - or where the two women might be held.

MSF Director of Operations Raquel Ayora says the group is waiting for more information from the captors.

“Right now, we're almost in a passive way waiting for a contact to be made on the other side, which is the usually the way to proceed with that," said Ayora. "At the same time we are engaged with all the actors in the field passing the message on the way we would like this case to be handled.”

The women, both logisticians, were abducted in broad daylight as they left work at the Ifo II camp in Dadaab. The attack followed the kidnappings of two other European women from resort towns on Kenya’s east coast, one of whom has died in captivity.

Al-Shabab spokesperson Ali Mohamud Rage holds a news conference in Mogadishu, Somalia, threatening Kenya, October 17, 2011.
Al-Shabab spokesperson Ali Mohamud Rage holds a news conference in Mogadishu, Somalia, threatening Kenya, October 17, 2011.

The Kenyan government has blamed Somalia’s al-Shabab militants for the kidnappings and has used the attacks as justification for its ongoing military incursion into Somalia.

Doctors Without Borders has distanced itself from Kenya’s actions, and Ayora says the group worries the military operation could jeopardize the safe return of the two women.

“We fear that there might be a negative impact," added Ayora. "First of all, what we wanted to do is to make sure everybody understands that we consider that the best way of dealing with this situation is trying to find a nonviolent resolution of the case - a way of negotiating that doesn't involve any kind of use of violence.”

Ayora also expressed concern about the impact on the aid effort in Dadaab, which is hosting over 450,000 refugees, many of whom arrived this year fleeing famine and war in Somalia.

"Of course we are very worried about the situation not only because of this temporary reduction of activities of Doctors Without Borders but also because other actors had to follow the same path, and globally the level of services currently being provided to the population is not the same as before the incident so all of us, all the organizations would like to resume operations," Ayora said.

Al-Shabab denies any responsibility for the kidnappings in Dadaab or on Kenya’s east coast, as Kenyan troops continue to push deeper into Somalia in pursuit of the militants.

Al-Shabab has also vowed it will retaliate for the assault, threatening to strike targets in Kenya.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid