1st October 2011
The Government of Kenya wishes to confirm that an elderly lady of French origin, Ms. Marie DeDieu, was abducted from a private residence in Manda Island, at 3.30 am this morning.
Two gunmen stormed the residence and took the hostage to a waiting speedboat before fleeing into international waters. It is believed that the perpetrators are gunmen operating from Somalia.
Kenyan security forces immediately embarked on efforts to locate and rescue the hostage, with the Kenyan Navy pursuing the speedboat with assistance from aerial surveillance. As of now the rescue effort is still on-going.
The Government of Kenya deeply regrets this incident given that security and safety of tourists and visitors to Kenya is of paramount importance. It has noted that this incident took place in a private residential area whilst security in tourist facilities has already been increased.
We wish to reassure visitors to our North-Eastern coast and indeed to all other tourism areas in the country that the Government is closely monitoring the situation with a view to ensuring high-level security for everyone. Tourism being an important sector to Kenya"s economy, the Government will spare no efforts in ensuring tourists enjoy their holidays and stay in the country without any apprehension.
In addition the Government of Kenya, acknowledging that this is a world-wide problem, is urgently joining with allies in the United Nations to re-enforce and enhance action already being taken in the Indian Ocean area to combat such incidents.
More details will be given as soon as they become available.
Hon. Najib Balala, EGH, MP
MINISTER FOR TOURISM
Saturday, October 1, 2011