SELF-IMPOSED CURFEW

Cuban doctors abduction takes toll on Mandera

Businesses that would run as late as midnight are closed as early as sunset

In Summary

• Health sector affected severely; five patients were scheduled for operations on Friday.

• Many Probox cars have been impounded as a security measure.

Mandera Governor Ali Roba addresses the press outside his office after the abduction of two Cuban doctors last Friday
OPTIMISTIC: Mandera Governor Ali Roba addresses the press outside his office after the abduction of two Cuban doctors last Friday
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Residents of Mandera have started feeling the effects of the abduction of the Cuban doctors three days after the incident. 

Ahmed Mohamed said the residents have resorted to a self-imposed curfew where businesses are forced to close as early as 5pm. 

“Initially, businesses were running as late as midnight,” Mohamed said.

A spot check in Mandera town revealed that by 6pm the town is virtually deserted as security officers drawn from all the agencies take over. 

The last three days have witnessed arrests and a number of Probox vehicles impounded.

Police commander Jeremiah Kosiom said the exercise was meant to verify their registration. 

The health sector has been severely affected as the Cuban doctors' expertise could not be matched.

On Friday when the doctors were abducted, five patients were scheduled for operation. 

Health CEC Mohamed Eda said the incident was a big blow to the county's health sector.

“The doctors were working selflessly and the residents had come to really like them. They have helped save many lives in the short period they have been around. This is a disaster for us." 

Assel Herera Correa (general physician) and Landy Rodriguez (surgeon) were abducted on Friday morning by suspected al Shabaab militants.

 

The gunmen bundled the two into their (abductors') cars and drove off towards Somalia. 

Several residents who spoke to the Star expressed optimism the doctors will be brought back safely to pick up from where they left.

“We cannot imagine losing their services, leave alone their lives,” resident Amina Hassan said. 

Elders have already been dispatched to Somalia to help broker a deal that will see the doctors released. 

In the meantime, military choppers continue doing aerial and ground search in parts of Somalia Bula Hawa. 

(Edited by R.Wamochie)