- Silvia Romano, a young Italian volunteer in Kenya, was abducted in November, 2018 and was reported to have been taken to Somalia.
- Giuseppe Conte, the Italian Prime Minister tweeted on his official Twitter page thanking ‘external intelligence services’.
Abducted Italian volunteer Silvia Costanza Romano has been freed according to Italian PM, Giuseppe Conte. Ms. Romano was abducted by unknown men on November 20, 2018 at her rental home in Chakama, 80km west of Malindi Town, Kilifi County.
At the time of her abduction, Silvia was 23 years old and was managing an Italian based humanitarian group known as The African Milele Onlus. No group claimed responsibility for the abduction since, bringing fears of an increase in attacks by Al-shabaab militants.
Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte through his official Twitter account on Saturday hailed men and women of the foreign intelligence service for their work which led to her release.
“Silvia Romano has been freed. I thank the men and women of the external intelligence service. Silvia, we await for you in Italy!,”
Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio also announced Ms. Romano’s release. He thanked the foreign intelligence service of Italy, the AISE and his ministry for rescuing Ms Romano.
“I wanted to give you the good news. Silvia Romano is free. The state leaves no one behind. A hug to your family. And thanks to our intelligence, the AISE in particular, the Farnesina (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation) and all those who worked on it,”
Speaking to the Italian state broadcaster RAI, the Foreign Minister, Mr. Di Maio said Silvia was found in Somalia and was released thanks to the external intelligence agency. Di Maio however said he could not reveal any details about the release.
After the abduction in 2018, a multi-agency team in Kenya launched a rescue operation, concentrating its search efforts in the thick and expansive Boni Forest, along the border of Kenya and Somalia, which is a known hideout of the Al-Shabaab terror group.