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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid