, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 30 – Two Kenyan officials abducted by Somalia’s Al Shabaab insurgents in January 2012 have finally been released after border communities in North Eastern Province spearheaded the successful negotiations.
Edward Yesse Mule, a District Officer and Fredrick Irungu Wainaina, Registrar of Persons in Wajir South District were abducted at the Gerile AP border post about one and a half years ago, just after having the day’s evening meal.
Efforts to bring them back home earlier were futile as the government declined to negotiate with terrorists.
The militia group also stood its ground demanding the release of all the ‘Muslim prisoners being held in Kenya over terrorism charges’ in exchange for Mule and Irungu’s freedom.
It is still not clear who blinked first and perhaps what price Kenya had to pay for their release but it seems little compared to the freedom of the two Kenyans.
It is also not clear how many other Kenyans are still being held hostage in the conflict ridden country.
“The two, Edward Yesse Mule, a District Officer, and Fredrick Irungu Wainaina Registrar of Persons, Wajir South District, have now rejoined their families and are in sound health,” a statement released late on Tuesday from State House said.
Government spokesman Muthui Kariuki had earlier on denied being aware of the release when contacted by Capital FM News, even though Mule’s family had hinted that he was no longer captive after receiving the news on Monday.
“I am not aware that the Kenyans have been freed,” insisted Kariuki on Tuesday morning.
The freed captives are understood to have spent hours after their release in the government’s hands recording statements over their experiences during their long period of captivity.