15-05-2020 by Freddie del Curatolo
Those who know and visit our portal daily or even sporadically, which for twelve years has been informing and promoting Kenya for Italians in various forms, all positive and constructive, know that I rarely fall into the puerile slime of sterile controversy and those who for different reasons foment hatred, peddle anachronistic ideologies or ride interests of any kind.
What I can't stand and never will be able to ignore are the fake news, the inaccuracies and the castronerie perpetrated by fellow journalists and self-styled experts of what they write (the alllogians are removed from the list, even if unfortunately they make number...).
Having said that, I prefer to talk about reality, rather than deny dozens of inaccurate news, misrepresented if not invented with respect to the current situation in Kenya.
The kidnapping of the Italian Silvia Romano (not a collaborator, as too many and unfortunately also authoritative journalists continue to write, but a young novice volunteer recruited by a rather disorganized Onlus) is the ONLY kidnapping that took place in Kenya against foreigners in areas not on the border with Somalia. And by border we mean a strip of no more than 40 kilometers or sea miles.
A very serious case that undoubtedly sets a precedent, but does not automatically give anyone the right to sell as the truth that Kenya is a "land of kidnappings" as many Italian newspapers and media have done.
Then we can see some pretty ridiculous data inside the articles.
The previous kidnapping of a tourist (i.e. a foreigner with a three-month visa renewable for another three months and not a cooperating, religious or member of recognized international associations in Kenya) dates back to September 2011, in the island of Kiwayu, an isolated and until then quiet paradise, north of the Lamu archipelago and therefore much closer to Somalia.
In a billionaire resort where all sorts of personalities had stayed over the years, from Mick Jagger to Carolina of Monaco, the Tebbutt couple, David and his wife Judith, were attacked in their cottage by a band of Somali pirates who landed on the beach with a boat.
David tried to defend himself and his wife and was killed, the woman captured and unaware of the end of her husband. She was sold by the pirates to Al Shabaab and freed just over six months later with a ransom of almost 1 million euros, paid through a private collection organized in Great Britain but managed and carried out by Her Majesty's Intelligence.
Judith told the press that she had not been treated badly, always taken care of by women, but that she had gone through a psychologically difficult period, following also the discouragement of her husband's death, which was communicated to her by her son on the phone, two weeks after the kidnapping, but that she had always prayed and believed in his release. During the days of imprisonment the woman was transported to various shelters, in the forest of the Somali hinterland and she told that she had thought several times about her conversion to Islam. Once released, she presented herself to the world in a typical Somali dress that covered her head and body. Judith Tebbutt told her story in a book that sold thousands of copies: A long walk home.
There are no other cases of tourist abductions linked to Somali terrorism, but neither are abductions of foreigners by Kenyan organized or disorganized crime.
All the others have taken place either in the Dadaab refugee camp (to be considered practically a Somali enclave in Kenya), like the two Spanish Medics Sans Frontieres' co-operators who were held in captivity for 21 months. In that case too, the women said they had not suffered any kind of violence.
Finally, I would like to remind the alleged "Journalist, expert in Geopolitics" of the Daily Fact Roberto Colella who, unlike what he writes in one of the most hallucinating and rambling articles of this period, that the Ogaden National Liberation Front is not a local Kenyan movement, but clearly an Ethiopian organization that refers, look, to a region of Ethiopia called Ogaden. That the "mungiki" are not a gang dedicated to kidnapping, but a secret sect of Mount Kenya that once kidnapped young teenagers for tribal rituals, and that during the electoral chaos of 2008 it was said that it was also hired to regulate local political feuds. We would like to know what happened to Colella just before writing that wretched article, whose title spreads unjustified terror. And also by what right she proclaims herself an expert in Geopolitics. I would like to use the same method to call myself a plumber, i could make much money.
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