Italian aid worker kidnapped in Kenya in 2018, returns to HOME

Hi everyone! Today I would like to share with you a good news from Italy. Silvia Romano, an italian volunteer in Kenya, that was kidnapped in 2018, has finally been released ­čśÇ

Silvia Romano, the international worker abducted in Kenya on 20 November 2018, arrived in Rome at Ciampino airport at 2 pm on May 11th. In addition to her family, the President of the Council Giuseppe Conte and the Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio. The girl, after 18 months of captivity, as soon as she landed in Italy, immediately confirmed that she was “well both mentally and physically” and was listened to by the prosecutor who takes care of the case, Sergio Colaiocco, who has opened an investigation for kidnapping for terrorism purposes.

Silvia Romano was in Kenya in 2018 to participate in a project curated by the non-profit organization Africa Milele: at the time she was an educator for children in the village of Chakama, in the county of Kilifi. According to the reconstruction of Repubblica, the girl’s presence was reported by a villager known by Romano to the group of Somali jihadists from al-Shabaab who, on November 20 of the same year, kidnapped her with a command of three men. The group, linked to al Qaeda, has been controlling parts of Somali territory for years, carrying out terrorist attacks. The purpose of the kidnapping was in fact to obtain in exchange for the release of money and weapons to finance their military actions. Later, Romano – in the company of three other terrorists, who later became her jailers – had to face a long week-long journey, made partly by motorbike and partly on foot, to cross the border and reach Somalia. From this moment the leaked information is still unclear: it is not known in which place it has been kept for all these months. The most accredited thesis is that she was imprisoned in six different homes, mainly in large inhabited centers in Somalia. During the interrogation, the co-worker allegedly pointed out to the prosecutor that she had always been treated well and that she had not suffered physical or psychological violence.

We are all happy that the girl has returned home but in the last few hours there have been several comments due to her Islamic conversion. As soon as she landed, Silvia said she converted to Islam and her name is Aysha. There would have been no forcing and the will to convert to the Islamic faith would not be the result of a coercion of his jailers.

Other comments were made on her Islamic clothing and on the possible ransom paid to free her.

Some dynamics regarding the operation have yet to be clarified but the most important thing now is that Silvia has been able to embrace her family again.

Thank you,

Fabiana

Sources:

Wired.it

BBc.com

Repubblica.it

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