Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users take on 'Ice Bucket Challenge' to fight ALS

Read more

ENCORE!

From Paris's Liberation to 'arresting' art in Avignon

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Ferguson riots: Pressure mounts on Obama

Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Turkey’s Erdogan names foreign minister Davutoglu as next PM

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

  • Former Femen activist detained after fighting veiled woman

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

Africa

Frenchwoman kidnapped in Kenya has died, officials say

Video by Catherine Nicholson

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-10-19

A disabled Frenchwoman kidnapped in Kenya and held by militants in neighbouring Somalia has died, the French foreign ministry announced on Wednesday. The 66-year-old was taken on October 1 from her home on Kenya's northern coast.

A 66-year-old, wheelchair-bound Frenchwoman who was kidnapped from a northern Kenyan island earlier this month and held in Somalia has died, French officials announced Wednesday.

"The contacts with whom we were working to secure the release of Marie Dedieu have told us of her death," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said in a statement released Wednesday.

The statement did not provide details on when she died or the circumstances of her death.

Dedieu was kidnapped on October 1 from a beach house she was renting in Manda, an idyllic Indian Ocean island off Kenya’s northern coast, near the Somali border and part of the Lamu Archipelago.

A co-founder of leading Frenchwomen’s rights group MLF (Mouvement de libération des femmes) who also acted in the film “Bed and Board” by celebrated film director François Truffaut, Dedieu had been wheelchair-bound since she had an accident several years ago. She was also battling cancer and required regular medication.

“Ms. Dedieu’s health and the uncertainty over the conditions of her detention, the fact that the kidnappers may have refused to hand over the medicines we have sent her, lead us to fear that this tragic outcome is unfortunately the most likely,” said the official French statement.

‘The Somalia factor’

The latest news came days after Kenyan troops launched a cross-border operation into war-torn Somalia, a country that has not had a government for over two decades.

The Kenyan government has blamed militants from the Islamist al-Shabaab movement, which controls southern Somalia, for a spate of recent kidnappings in Kenya—including Dedieu and a British tourist also seized from Lamu as well as two Spanish aid workers who were abducted from the sprawling Dadaab refugee camp near the Kenya-Somalia border.

Dadaab is the world’s largest refugee camp and has seen a massive influx of Somali refugees fleeing a famine in their homeland over the past few months.

Kenyan authorities say the hostages have been taken into Somalia, amid growing fears that the conflict in Somalia could have a spillover effect in Kenya, especially impacting the East African nation’s critical tourism industry.

Dedieu’s abduction was the second attack on foreigners along Kenya’s northern coastline in less than a month. The British tourist Judith Tebbutt was seized on September 11 from her beach hut north of Lamu. Her husband David Tebbutt was killed in the attack.

France has issued a travel advisory against travel to Lamu. “Isolated hotels and resorts and more generally, all residential areas with access to the sea are directly threatened,” said the advisory, which was posted earlier this month.

French secret agent Denis Allex, who was kidnapped in the Somali capital of Mogadishu in July 2009, is believed to be in captivity in Somalia. A second agent, who was taken along with Allex, was released a month after his abduction.

 

Date created : 2011-10-19

  • KENYA

    Kenyans intensify hunt for abducted Frenchwoman

    Read more

  • KENYA

    Kenya seeks talks with Frenchwoman's kidnappers

    Read more

  • KENYA

    Frenchwoman's kidnappers reach Somalia after shootout

    Read more

COMMENT(S)