Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Update: Kidnapped Frenchwoman, 66, Held in Somalia Dies

As a follow-up to my numerous recent postings on the kidnappings of Europeans near the Kenyan-Somalian border, Frenchwoman Marie Dedieu, 66, who was kidnapped by upwards of ten gunmen on October 1, from her home on Manda Island, is reported to have died while in captivity.

Clearly, this development will just add more pressure on the Kenyan government, which has already pushed its forces nearly 100 miles into Somalia to neutralize pirates, al-Sabaab militants and hopefully rescue three women (one British, two Spanish) who are being held there.

COMMENT: As has been mentioned previously, Ms. Dedieu who not only was battling cancer with vitally needed medications, but was also wheelchair-bound from a serious automobile accident. Despite these infirmities, she was dragged from her home and placed into a speedboat destined for Somalia at the time she was kidnapped.

He said that agents from the DGSE, France’s elite overseas intelligence service, has been endeavoring to attempt to pinpoint Dedieu's location in Somalia and rescue her, but to no avail because the European hostages are moved so frequently.

Ms. Dedieu had settled in the Lamu archipelago of Kenya some 15 years ago, moving to the idyllic Manda Island around seven years ago, although she continue to visit France for medical care and family visits. Ironically, she was kidnapped the day after her return from Paris, suggesting that someone was well aware of the date of her return.

Sadly, the critical cancer-fighting medications that Dedieu needed had been sent to her by the French government, through an intermediary, but were not administered to her because of the refusal of her captors. Such cruel treatment no doubt led to her premature death.

British tourist Judith Tebbutt, 56, who was also kidnapped in Kenya and is being held in Somalia, was on holiday with her husband, David, at the remote Kiwayu Safari Village when gunmen burst into their cottage on September 11. When her husband resisted, he was summarily shot and killed.

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