Authorities in Nairobi have reportedly redeployed Somali elders from Mandera to renegotiate Sh150 million ransom allegedly demanded by Al-Shabaab militants for the release of two Cuban doctors.
The ransom demand was communicated through community elders who went to a remote place between the towns of Buale and El-Ade in Jubaland region of Somalia, where general practitioner Herera Corea and surgeon Landy Rodriguez are said to have been seen alive.
Dr Herera and Rodriguez were abducted by suspected Al-Shabaab militants in Mandera after brief fire exchanges that saw a security officer dead and another one seriously injured in April.
KDF deployed Regiment Special Forces to Somalia as the search for abductors was intensified in the troubled Gedo region within Jubaland but the crackdown is yet to take place due to ongoing negotiations between Somali elders from Kenya and Somalia.
Elders said the two doctors are safe and are reportedly giving medical treatment to Somali community under restrictions by Al-Shabaab near El-Adde town. The elders, who are respected within Somali community, are believe to have been told by Kenyan government to have the ransom slashed.
In April, RTN Somali TV reported that the two doctors were pictured alive near Barawe, four days into their capture. The station however, did not give further details. The search and rescue mission has been kept secret by government.