Cuba reaching US over fate of doctors kidnapped by Al-Shabaab

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NAIROBI, Kenya - The Communist government of Cuba is in touch with the US over two medical doctors who were kidnapped by al-Shabaab and whose fate still remain unclear, with the al-Qaeda network in Africa maintaining that they were killed in a US Africa Command airstrike.

Cuba's Foreign Affairs ministry maintained that “will not cease in hope or effort until it learns the truth.” The militants issued a statement a few months ago on the fate of the two doctors where it indicated they had been killed by a drone in Jilib town.

Since such reports emanated, the US has remained mum about the fate of the doctors, failing to respond to the matter. The Federal Government of Somalia is also yet to establish the fate of the medics, neither has Kenya, which recruited them for services.

“We await an official response to the inquiries that Cuba has respectfully presented, with elements that the civil and military agencies of the United States that operate in Somalia and in that region of the world can provide,” the MINREX noted.

It reiterated Cuba’s gratitude to the governments of Kenya, Somalia and other countries for their efforts. The two doctors were kidnapped by al-Shabaab from Mandera and their driver has since been convicted of planning for their abduction.

The statement recalled that five years are marked on Friday since the doctors were kidnapped in Kenya, where they were serving as part of an intergovernmental cooperation agreement in which they participated voluntarily.

The MINREX stressed that since the news about “the vile and absurd kidnapping” became known, the governments of Kenya, Somalia and Cuba made countless and huge efforts to rescue the two physicians and return them home.

It noted that this unprecedented event in Cuba’s long history of International Medical Cooperation has been guided by the leader of the Revolution, Raúl Castro, and permanently monitored by the Communist Party of Cuba, the State and the Government, headed by President Miguel Díaz-Canel, and other authorities.

The MINREX indicated that on February 17, news was received about the alleged deaths of Assel Herrera Correa and Landy Rodríguez Hernández, victims of an air raid by US military forces operating in Somalia on February 15.

It stressed that despite the multiple efforts made by the Cuban Government, no information or evidence has been obtained that would allow us to reach definitive conclusions and clarify whether the doctors are still alive or confirm their deaths..

“Given the nature of the conflict in Somalia and the impossibility of getting confirmation, in recent weeks Cuba has repeatedly requested, through direct communications and diplomatic notes to the US Government, precise information about the events that occurred,” the statement said.

The United States did confirm the said airstrike but maintained it only targeted Al-shabaab militants within the vicinity of Jilib. Sources say the doctors had been offering services to injured members of the group until their alleged demise.

GAROWE ONLINE

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