Families of kidnapped pilots forced to pay Sh11 million

The two pilots have been held captive in South Sudan for one month

The two pilots,  Captain Frank Njoroge and Co-pilot Kennedy Shamalla were freed on Tuesday and were received at an elaborate ceremony presided over by newly appointed CS Monica Juma.

The release occurred after the Kenyan government engaged in a month-long negotiation ceremony with Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO), which is controlled by rebel leader Riek Machar.

The two pilots were captured after their aircraft crashed on January 24, killing one person and some livestock.

Citizen TV reported that the families paid Sh11 million in ransom that the rebels demanded as compensation. rebels had initially demanded Ksh.20 million before negotiations.

“The pilots of the two families have suffered emotional and psychological distress during the period in which they were abducted. We condemn the capture and detention of the pilots in the strongest terms possible,” Juma stated after welcoming the two at Wilson Airport.

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