New reports now indicate that the Cuban Doctors abducted by Al-Shabaab group in the month of April are now slaves and have been forced by the Al-Shabaab fighters to provide treatment services to the group and also to the surrounding community which is under the control of the terror group.
This is according to the community elders who had gone to a remote village in Jubbaland, Somalia, where Dr. Assel Herera Corea, a general practitioner, and Dr. Landy Rodriguez, a surgeon, were believed to be held.
The militants are now demanding Ksh150 million ($1.5 million) in ransom in order to release the two Cuban doctors. From both Mandera and Bulahawo in Somalia, the elders had been sent to the village located between Buale and El-Adde to negotiate for the release of the doctors.
The elders confirmed on Thursday that the two doctors are still alive, giving hope to the government and their families as well.
In Somali customs, the community elders are treated with paramount respect and are tasked with solving technical issues that are sometimes dangerous and risky.
Following the abduction, Cuban doctors posted in Wajir, Lamu, Garissa and Tana River were recalled for fear of their security. They were reassigned to other counties. Dr. Correa and Dr. Rodriguez are medical expatriates working in Kenya under a special arrangement between the government and Cuba.
They were kidnapped on April 12 in an attack that saw a police officer shot dead when the militants ambushed the car they were travelling in. One officer managed to escape.
The Kenyan Police spokesperson Charles Owino has remained silent on the matter saying that he had no such information.