Vice President of the Cuban Council of Ministers Inés María Chapman said that “the Kenyan authorities reassured her” that Cuban doctors Landy Rodríguez and Assel Herrera, kidnapped in Kenya on April 12, “are well” and that “efforts will continue for their safe return.”
The two Cuban doctors were allegedly kidnapped by members of the Al-Shabaab terrorist group in the town of Mandera, in an area of Kenya bordering Somalia and Ethiopia.
Chapman said, quoted by the Cubadebate site, that the Cuban government’s leadership devotes “permanent attention” to this issue and that its priority is “that they return safe and sound to the homeland.”
“Our country, our government and the Ministry of Public Health are constantly kept up to date on how both doctors are and are in contact with their families in Cuba,” said the vice president in a meeting with the press.
During her participation in the Summit of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP), held in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, Chapman met with several authorities in the country, including President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The vice president conveyed the Cuban authorities’ gratitude to the Kenyan government “for the efforts they are carrying out to try to achieve the safe return to Cuba” of Rodríguez and Herrera, captured in an operation in which the guard who was escorting them to the Mandera hospital was killed.
The Cuban Foreign Ministry reported on December 11 on Chapman’s meeting with Uhuru Kenyatta, but then the press release did not mention that the kidnapped doctors were discussed at that meeting.
In her words to the press this Monday, Chapman assessed the impact of the Cuban medical brigade in Kenya as “very positive,” adding that the Cuban delegation she led held a meeting with the medical collaborators in Nairobi, who “are well and expressed their commitment to continue working, serving their country and the people of Kenya.”
The vice president of the Council of Ministers explained that the doctors are safe and that some who were working at the border were relocated closer to the capital. “They ratified the commitment to continue with their task, that’s what they said to us,” she said.