Two Spanish aid workers finally return home

Freedom

Two Spanish aid workers who worked for ‘Medicos Sin Fronteras España’ (Doctors without Borders Spain), have arrived home safely after being kidnapped in Kenya for nearly two years by Somali militants.

Montserrat Serra and Blanca Thiebaut, on arrival were met by relatives at an air base in Madrid. The militants had kidnapped them from a refugee camp in Dadaab which lies in Eastern Kenya in October 2011. Their driver was shot and wounded.

Their kidnapping was the third of Europeans that had happened in six weeks and a reason that Kenyan troops were sent into Somalia just days later.

The organisation announced their release but did not say whether a ransom was paid. They did not give many more details citing security concerns.

“We feel it would be inappropriate and insecure of us to provide details relating to captivity or to the ransom,” Will Robertson, the group’s programme manager, said in Nairobi, Kenya. “What I will say is that we’ve had a lot of support from many stakeholders within Somalia and we are very grateful for their assistance.”

The group’s leader, Jose Antonio Bastos is claimed to have said that the two women were healthy.

Somalia was suffering from a famine that killed more than 250,000 people when the abductions occurred. This made it difficult for the organisation to respond to the country’s needs Robertson claimed. 

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