Two Spanish aid workers kidnapped almost two years ago in Kenya and then held in Somalia have been freed, their employer Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said Thursday.

Montserrat Serra and Blanca Thiebaut, 40 and 30 respectively at the time of their kidnapping from the Dadaab refugee complex near the border with Somalia in October 2011, are both “safe and healthy”, MSF said.

“Both are safe and healthy and keen to join their loved ones as soon as possible,” the medical charity said, without disclosing when they were released or how.

MSF said it would give no further details before a press conference scheduled in Madrid on Friday.

“Once again, MSF strongly condemns this attack on humanitarian workers who were in Dadaab offering lifesaving medical assistance to thousands of refugees,” the charity said.

Serra and Thiebaut, both logisticians, were seized by armed men in the Ifo camp in Dadaab, where they were working on the construction of a hospital, and immediately driven across the border.

Kenyan police said they had been taken by members of Somalia’s Islamist Shebab group, but no group has actually claimed the kidnapping.

MSF, which at the time of the kidnapping had 49 foreign and 343 local staff in Dadaab, reduced its activity there to a minimum.

The world’s largest refugee complex, Dadaab is home to some 450,000 refugees, the vast majority of whom have fled drought and war in Somalia.

The abduction of the Spaniards followed the kidnapping of a French woman and a British woman from the Kenyan coast near the Somali border.

Briton Judith Tebbutt, in her late fifties, was seized from a remote Kenyan resort on September 11, 2011 by armed men who killed her husband David. She was released in March 2012 after being held for more than six months, reportedly after her son paid a ransom.

Marie Dedieu, 66 and partially paralysed, was seized from her beachfront home in the Lamu archipelago on October 1, 2011.

She was reported dead later the same month, with French officials saying the death was probably due to her having been deprived of essential medication by her kidnappers.

Just days after the two Spaniards were seized Kenya rolled tanks and troops across the border to fight the Shebab.

MSF immediately distanced itself from that operation.

On October 25, 2011 two aid workers with Danish Refugee Council were seized by armed men in Galkayo in north-central Somalia. They were freed in a raid by US commandos in January 2012.

The Kenyan troops were officially integrated into the African Union force in Somalia Amisom in early June 2012.

Kenya is aiming to establish a buffer zone on the Somali side of the Kenya-Somalia border, notably in order to protect its lucrative tourism industry, a pillar of the economy.

In January Shebab fighters killed a French hostage, an intelligence agent known under the pseudonym Denis Allex, held since 2009, during a botched rescue attempt by French forces.

A colleague of Allex, kidnapped at the same time, managed to escape in August 2009.

A Briton and a Kenyan employed by an Indian subcontractor of a UN agency and who were seized in southern Somalia in 2008 are feared dead.

An American national kidnapped in January 2012 is still being held.

Thirty-nine seamen of various nationalities from the Naham 3, a fishing vessel captured in March 2012 and from two other boats, are still being held in Somalia.

The fate of a further 15 seamen whose vessel the Albedo sank, is unknown.



  1. Bad news and too many problems between Somalia and Kenya more than anything else
    in the latest encounters since the KDF invaded Somalia to gain a buffer zone which is a
    big problem for the SFG.

    • You should know the definition of "invasion", Kenya came to Somalia AU and UN mandate the only problem they are having is Hawiye led mission and their small ALLIANCE. but as long they have the MIGHT of Darood clan who are the MAJORITY of Jubbaland inhabitant nothing will go wrong.

      • Brothda Gitongo, whatever, if that simple and Darod clan are the majority of Jubaland
        and not jubbaland? inhabitant, then there is nothing wrong. However, the fact of the matter is
        that other inhabitants including Hawiye led mission are the majority. Therefore, the Jubaland
        crisis are far greater dangers and painstaking for the SFG in Mogadiscio who supposedly
        should be solely responsible for all policies and politics of what goes round the Somalia
        Sovereignty? The AU, UN, Amisom and the entire IC stakeholders should respect working
        with the SFG…otherwise the SFG is dominated by foreign hostile powers. Your statement
        signifies that Kenya unilaterally works with the Darod against the SFG powers. That's no
        joy for the SFG powers in Mogadiscio.

        • By now international community have very good idea how Somali society function. Kenya will deal inhabitant in these three regions Lower Jubba,Middle jubba and gedo since they have borders with Kenya. if SFG does not respect he wishes Majority residence in these regions then that is unacceptable in any stander.

          AU,UN,EU and US will not watch re-ignite another civil war in Somalia but the sometime they will make sure safeguard semi-autonomous in Somalia so peace process can proceed.

          SFG her Jop is to support what her citizen want not to confront and create more friction division in this fragile society like Somalis. if Hawiye led mission are the majority then they should rule where they reside because in this area they are minority. let me put this way for you, if SFG not respect wishes of own citizen then they should not expect respect from international community.

          Remember ( SFG ) represent all Somalis not one or two groups.

          • Keep talking brothda Gitongo, the more you talk the more problems. Btw, these regions
            the lower/upper Jubas are very strongly tied up to the Banadir Regions and therefore
            your ill-intentioned partisan policies and politics would have serious consequences,
            effects, for the SFG centralized powers from the Capital Mogadiscio. Let me put this way,
            the SFG are the sole responsible powers for the Somalia Sovereignty, and all foreign
            Govts are supposed to be work together with the SFG only against all other odds of
            the internal affairs of all inclusive Somalia roadmap Signatories. Let me again
            remind you that if the SFG doesn't like the KDF or else, the SFG should simply get rid
            of them to withdraw back to Kenya instead of Somalia Soil. I see serious problems
            between Kenya and Somalia. Don't forget the Uhuru Govt officials were already under
            ICC indictments and adding more fuel into the crisis of these Jubbaland buffer zones
            would mean more criminology for the Kenyan Govt powers over the long haul.

          • Look, if lower Jubba and upper Jubba are connected with Current SFG, why there is friction between Mogadishu SFG and Jubbaland authority.??. and pls do not tell me because of KDF is just lie already Jubbaland have own arm forces more then eight thousand.

            There will be no such serious consequences Jubbaland situation because inhabitant in this area are leading their destiny not anyone else, SFG sitting in Mogadishu can't even control own backyard how it can dictate people in Jubbaland, this is outrageous.

            International community will not watch re-ignite Somalis civil war again that is for sure, international community have the mandate and obligation to protect safeguard all Semi-autonomous states within federal republic of Somalia, because this is the only way Somalis can get alone each other since they all base on tribal society Centralized authoritarian government are the thing of the past.

            SFG represent all Somalis was created all Somalis not certain groups, if 35% or even 15% have conflict with SFG, SFG will cease to exist.

            There is no confrontation between Kenyan Government and SFG but there is big conflict BWT SFG and own citizen Specially Puntland administration, Jubbaland and lower shebelle. if civil war starts in Somalia those responsible will be brought to justice this time ICC will involve no more warlordism, no more using religion own purpose to gain power, no more looting property belongs to innocent people, no more creating destabilization.

          • Thank you brother Gitongo, the SFG is listening and what you are saying is
            indeed their problems. Am over and out.

          • Listen Gitongo, don't get me all wrong. I was only trying to express how
            I see the crisis of Somalia in broader terms. If the Somalians can't put their acts
            together under their SFG central high Command headquartered in Mogadiscio,
            and the AU, UN,EU,US have their political interests in the Somalia internal
            affairs, IMO that by itself would have serious consequences for all the players.
            Please again, don't get me wrong by saying over and out. However, let me
            close my over and out with this conviction, that if the SFG who in my view
            is supposed to represent the Somalia Sovereignty is overpowered by
            other internal and external circumstances, then these crisis should sort out themselves like the jungle animals. One thing is dead obvious, the Somalia
            and Kenya new crisis would escalate rather than diminsh more than the
            Ethiopian incursions and other Amisom countries. Why and how is that,
            bcos none of all the other Amisom Countries are interested in annexing
            new Somalia Soil except Kenya!!!!. Isn't that serious dangerous policies
            for the SFG for Somalia on top of all the other challenging conflicts???

          • The issue is not whether Somalis can solve their problem they can only do that when they find good leadership, it looks now the major problem is SFG since they are not able to negotiate own citizen.

            Kenya is wealthy country strongest economy in east Africa not interested any part of Somalia all it wants is peaceful Somalia but the current SFG lost legitimacy own people. Kenya it will make sure it's borders are safe what ever the cost, in this part of Somalia Jubbaland almost 1.8 million Somalis live 87% are Darood clan Kenya will deal them because Kenya not want to see conflict and war start here they are the majority residence in this area and have the real power to start large scale war.

            As i said to you there will be no consequences, today without the AU forces in Mogadishu and without the fund coming from U.S, EU SFG wouldn't existed let us be realistic here. if any peace spoilers start any war either from Mogadishu or any other place in somalia already twenty thousand AU forces, fifteen thousand Ethiopain forces , and NATO will directly interfere without any hesitation.

          • All there is to it, that you have no respect for the SFG. Everything is right
            except the SFG and Hawiye. Keep your Darod namely the OGs-Absame of the NFD Kenyans, The ONLF OGs of K5, and the MJs of Puntland.
            the MX of Gedo are in fact part of the big picture SFG. The 87% you
            keep dramatising is a false figure. Let me tell you that much..all
            that you reported are in for escalated wars between the SFG
            and specially Kenyan dangerous annexing policies of Somalia
            Soil. Will see what happens.

          • I am sorry to say this but the fact the matter is a lot of Somalis specially Darood which represent at least 32% somali population and most of Digil mirifle not support or happy with the SFG,. Digil mirifle are fighting to get their land back lower shabeele, also 80% Mareexan tribe reside in Gedo support Jubbaland which they are part of it. the only one causing problem are those from " Aabudqak" only 20% they do not live Gedo.

            Current "SFG" represent only some part of Somali society not all if they have confidence today this problem would not occurred.

            As i said to you there will be no CONFLICT bwt lonely alone "SFG" and Kenya.

          • Come again, Somalis specially big guns of Darod had from
            time immemorial were popularly known to count the
            non-human beings including the spirits as darodism big
            counts. Looks like they used their redneck mystics to brainwahed
            you and good Kenyans. FYI the D/M who are more % than the Darod
            % were/are always pro DIR in the big Somalia political picture
            bcos of the Hawiye central South Banadir Regions strong
            dictatorial powers and throughout all Somalia without Somaliland.
            Also the MX of Gedo and whereever else are fully with their PM
            of the SFG and playing now another role like Alshabab.
            Don't forget also Somaliland would never support your Darodism
            political stance of Kenya annexing Somalian Soil under the
            welcome high treason conspiracies. I continue to believe that
            without the SFG, Somalia is in for big deep-rooted conflicts,
            the least said. All the Ethiopian and the other Amisom Nations
            major conflicts now centre between the SFG and KDF and how
            the IC actors would sort out the Kenyan annexation incursions
            is beyond my comprehension.

  2. Live with the dream of being majesty over your own other kinds. Be happy of them being massacred. To them, you are all a bunch of cockroaches to be exterminated. And tomorrow you will be next on the radar. Mission accomplished and is too late reverse it. .