Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez spoke by phone with his Somalian counterpart, Ahmed Isse Awad, about the two Cuban doctors kidnapped almost a year and six months ago, while working in Kenya.
“I had a telephone conversation with Somalian Foreign Minister Mr. Ahmed Isse Awad. I appreciated the support and efforts of his government to guarantee the safe return of our kidnapped doctors,” the island’s minister of foreign affairs published on his Twitter account.
Rodríguez also wrote that during the dialogue with his Somalian counterpart, “the will to strengthen bilateral ties between the two governments” was highlighted.
Sostuve conversación telefónica con el canciller de Somalia Sr. Ahmed Isse Awad.
Agradecí el apoyo y esfuerzos de su gobierno para garantizar el regreso seguro de nuestros médicos secuestrados.
Destacamos la voluntad de fortalecer los vínculos bilaterales entre ambos gobiernos.
— Bruno Rodríguez P (@BrunoRguezP) October 5, 2020
Surgeon Landy Rodríguez and general medicine specialist Assel Herrera were kidnapped on April 12, 2019, when the car in which they were traveling to the hospital in the border town of Mandera was attacked by alleged members of the terrorist organization Al-Shabaab.
In the operation, the bodyguard who was traveling with the Cuban doctors was killed. Months later the driver of the car was charged with terrorism for his alleged complicity in the kidnapping of the specialists who, according to reports from the Kenyan security forces, were taken to Somalia.
Since then, the island’s highest authorities have maintained frequent telephone contacts with the Nairobi and Mogadishu governments to discuss the possible release and “safe return” home of the medical collaborators.
The presidents of Cuba and Kenya spoke last June about the efforts to free the two doctors from the island kidnapped in the African country, as reported by the Cuban president on his Twitter account.
Likewise, the foreign ministers of both countries held a telephone conversation on the same issue at the end of August, and on other occasions the health officials and other members of both governments have done so. These authorities assure that they continue their work for the return of Cuban collaborators to the island.
However, despite the time that has elapsed and the diplomatic and political contacts, the current situation of the doctors and the real state of the efforts for their release and possible return to Cuba is unknown―at least publicly.