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Jihadist group Al Shabab abducted general practitioner Herrera and surgeon Rodriguez as they were heading to work on a protected convoy.
On Tuesday, President Miguel Diaz-Canel acknowledged that Cuban authorities continue efforts to ensure the return of physicians Landy Rodriguez and Assel Herrera, whom members of the Somali jihadist group Al Shabab kidnapped in Kenya on April 12, 2019.
General practitioner Herrera and surgeon Rodriguez were special envoys of the Cuban government to Kenya, which welcomes this Caribbean country’s doctors as part of an agreement signed to improve national access to health services.
Al Shabab group members abducted Herrera and Rodriguez as they were heading to work on a protected convoy in the Mandera City. During the attack, one of the police officers responsible for the doctors’ safety died.
Although the whereabouts of the physicians remain unknown, authorities presume they may have been transferred to central or southern Somalia, where the Al-Shabab seeks to establish an ultra-conservative Islamic Wahhabi State.
The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against #Cuba ���� for six decades is the most unjust, severe and extended system of unilateral sanctions ever applied against any country. pic.twitter.com/2a3vWA8TiK
On March 23, the Nairobi High Court Judge Martha Nanzushi sentenced Issack Ibrein Robow, the driver of the vehicle in which the doctors were traveling, to life imprisonment for collaborating in the murder of the police officer and the abduction.
"We are doing everything possible to do justice in this case. To achieve the release of the doctors, however, it is necessary to have some indication that they are still alive," the Kenyan government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna stated.
No other Cuban doctors have worked at the Mandera’s hospital since the kidnapping. So far, none of the Al-Shabab members involved in this case have been located or detained.