Police are not involved in the search and rescue mission of two Cuban doctors who were abducted in Mandera in April, Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai has said.
Gunmen kidnapped doctors Assel Herera Corea, a general practitioner, and Landy Rodriguez, a surgeon, in April in a daring attack in which they shot dead one of the two police officers who were escorting them to their work station.
Al-Shabaab militants asked for Sh150 million as ransom but the government is said to have rejected the offer even though Foreign Affairs minister Monica Juma denied the claims.
There were also reports that the doctors were seen at Gedo region, near El Adde, where they are offering free medical services to the locals.
According to Mutyambai, police' jurisdiction ends at the border, thus a different team from Kenya Defense Forces is pursuing the matter.
“Our work as police ends at the border ... I am not in a good position to account for the fate of Cuban doctors but we have a team working on it,” he said.
In July, intelligence reports indicated that Al-Shabaab militants had converted the two doctors to Islam and that they had been moved to Halaanqo area.
Mandera County Police Commander Jeremiah Kosiom said that he was confident that the two doctors would be eventually released and that they were alive.
“Efforts are ongoing to rescue the doctors but I don’t know when they will be released. What I know is that they are alive wherever they are,” said Mandera police commander Jeremiah ole Kosiom.
While KDF operations are not publicised, it's however clear that elite squad from Special Forces are deployed in Somalia where they are trying to locate the two doctors.