, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 17 – Judith Mutua, the Kenyan teacher kidnapped at gunpoint by suspected Al Shabaab militants in Dadaab has arrived in Nairobi.
Mutua and a colleague Hassan Adan Adau – employees of Windle Trust Kenya – were freed overnight after a short gunfight in southern Somalia where they were taken by their kidnappers.
The two were kidnapped while they were travelling to Hagadera from Dadaab University by Al Shabaab militants armed with AK-47s who had laid an ambush.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery who was at the Wilson Airport to receive Mutua Friday evening said the workers, kidnapped on Monday, were released after a joint operation between Kenyan and Somali troops.
“Today at 10am, combined security efforts between the Kenya Defence Forces, the National Police Service, Our National Intelligence Services and the Somalia National Army, in a combined effort carried our stealth rescue operation in Dagah, 30 kilometres inside Somalia that snatched Judith Mukomwe Mutua, unharmed from the terrorist group, the Al Shabaab.”
“I take this opportunity to welcome Judith Mukomwe Mutua back home. Her safe return symbolises our commitment to secure every Kenyans from the threat of terrorism. It also sends a clear message that no one on one will terrorise Kenyans,” the CS told a news conference in the company of Mutua.
Mutua, who looked frail, did not say much during the brief which was conducted on the apron of the Wilson Airport where she was helped by Nkaissery and PS Monica Juma to steady her step as she got off the military plane.
Two medical personnel from the military who had accompanied her on the trip to Nairobi maintained a visible presence. READ: Kidnapped Kenyan teacher rescued in Somalia: army.
She was then handed a bouquet of yellow and red roses as she was introduced to senior security officers including Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro and Acting Deputy Inspector General of Police Joel Kitili.
After the brief home coming ceremony, the teacher was whisked into a military ambulance and take to the Forces Memorial Hospital where she was will undergo further tests.
Mutua’s family and relatives who had thronged the Wilson Airport told Capital FM News that they were happy that she was home and said that they had decided to allow her rest at an undisclosed location in Nairobi.
In this regard, Nkaissery said: “I wish to reassure Ms Mutua and her entire family of the commitment of government to each one in the healing process out of this terrible ordeal. To Judith, we are proud that you remained steadfast and kept the hope for your rescue. This a critical contributory factors for a success rescue mission that is a mark of your courage and patriotism. We are proud of you.”
Nkaissery said the government would also streamline the management of refugees to ensure that only genuine ones are hosted in Kenya.
Whereas some refugees were genuine, he said, others were involved in activities that jeopardised the interests of Kenyans such as terrorism.
“As I have indicated, our refugees camps continue to provide a haven for Al Shabaab and its operatives and we, as government, will take all measures to ensure that this space is reverted to a civilian character,” he asserted.
The government has been pushing for the closure of Kakuma and Dadaab Refugee camps following reports that terrorists had been planning their activities from there.
Kenya sent troops across the border into Somalia in October 2011 to fight Al-Shabaab in an operation dubbed Linda Nchi.
The troops have since joined the larger African Union force in Somalia. Al-Shabaab has launched several retaliatory attacks in Kenya accusing the country of invading Somalia.