Ministry of Tourism
Statement by the Minister for Tourism, Hon.Najib Balala, EGH, MP on the Kidnapping of a French National in Lamu
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, Lamu, at 3.30 am this morning.
Two gunmen stormed the residence and took the hostage to a waiting speedboat before fleeing into the international waters. It is believed that the perpetrators are gunmen operating from Somali.
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 and the security personnel are on trail using speedboats as well as air surveillance.
The Government of Kenya deeply regrets this incidence given that security and safety of tourists and visitors to Kenya is of paramount importance. It is worth noting that this incident took place in a private residential area since security in tourist facilities has already been beefed up.
We wish to reassure tourists to this coastal resort and indeed in all other tourism areas in the country that the Government is closely monitoring the situation with a view to ensuring high-level security for all visitors. 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.
More details will be given as and when they become available.
Hon. Najib Balala, EGH, MP
MINISTER FOR TOURISM