A cautious Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai on Tuesday said all efforts were being consolidated in the bid to rescue the two Cuban doctors who were kidnapped in Mandera County four months ago.
Gunmen kidnapped doctors Assel Herera Corea, a general practitioner, and Landy Rodriguez, a surgeon, in April in a daring attack in which they shot dead one of the two police officers who were escorting them to their work station.
The abductors, suspected members of terror group Al-Shabaab, later demanded Sh150 million in ransom, according to community elders who went to a remote village in Jubbaland, Somalia.
Mr Mutyambai explained challenges including lack of the mandate to cross the border.
“Our work as police ends at the border ... I am not in a good position to account for the fate of Cuban doctors but we have a team working on it,” he said.
Mr Mutyambai noted, however, that some suspects were in police custody and were helping with investigations.
A recent security report showed that the doctors were moved to Halaanqo forest near Barawe town where they were allegedly converted to Islam.
Somali elders joined the mission for their rescue.
While in Mandera during what he termed a familiarisation tour, the IG visited parts including Lafey, Elwak, Rhamu and Takaba in a bid to boost the morale of police.
He commended security agencies at the coast on dealing with the insecurity posed by organised criminal gangs in Mombasa and other parts, such as Wakali Wao.
Mr Mutyambai said police in Mombasa were bravely dealing with the gangs.
“In relation to what happened at the Coast [on Monday] night, our officers are doing fine in dealing with the Kisauni-based Wakali Wao group,” he said, noting they responded quickly and prevented severe damage and worse injuries.
“Police at the Coast, particularly in Mombasa, did a good job. Immediately after the incident happened, they swung into action and managed to arrest three culprits,” he added.
He did not say why police were yet to eliminate the gang which is made up youngsters.
A hopeful IG said all the Wakali Wao gangsters will be arrested by the end of the week.
“[The three suspects] are providing information. By the end of the week we will have all the other members" he said.
Members of a machete-wielding gang attacked and injured 13 people in Kisauni and Nyali constituencies in Mombasa on Monday night.
The suspects were identified as Jackson Okelo (26), Paul Ayub (18) and Ibrahim Mohammed Hamdan (17).