Special for Africa ExPress
Malindi, January 22nd 2019
Campaigns to secure the release of an Italian woman abducted at Chakama village in the Kilifi county, have been intensified and the police is now reopening also the possibilty of an al-Shabaab involvment in the abduction. Both the Italian and Kenyan government as well as Italians resident in Malindi are working closely with the government of Kenya to know where the Italian woman is and secure her release. Authorities in Kenya insist that the abducted Italian has not been moved from Kenya and intelligence indicates she is being held somewhere in Coast of Kenya and she is safe.
The Police have hence denied claims that Italian volunteer Sylvia Romano, 23, who was abducted last year has been taken to Somalia.
Marcus Ochola the Coast Regional Police Commander said Ms Romano — who was abducted on November 20, 2018 in Malindi, Kilifi County — is still in the country. Her whereabouts is still unknown two months after her abduction, but local and international intelligence shows she is in Kenya and safe while abducters may be seeking a ransom.
Suggestions have been made that Kenyan Italians in Malindi should establish some talks with suspected abductors to coordinate a ransom. Speaking during a briefing in Mombasa on Saturday, Mr Ochola said an operation to trace the missing woman is still ongoing. “We are following up some links to rescue her and arrest the abductors. We appeal to the public to cooperate with us by giving us critical information,” Mr Ochola said. “Our operation is guided by intelligence information that we are getting from the public. We promise confidentiality. Give us vital information to manage security in this region,” he appealed.