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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid