A kidnapped Italian aid worker has been returned home and has arrived in Rome. Silvia Constanza Romano was freed outside of Mogadishu on Saturday.
According to a recent source, there are still three Iranian sailors, two Cuban doctors, two Kenyans and a German nurse working who worked for the International Red Cross still being held in al-Shabab controlled areas of Somalia.
Silvia was abducted in November 2018 while working in Kenya where she was working for Africa Milele in southeastern Kenya. She converted to Islam midway through her captivity. She was quoted as saying her conversion was not forced on her and that she was treated with respect by her captors. Her release came about as the result of a joint operation between Italian, Turkish and Somalia intelligence and negotiations.
This should be a happy ending for the young woman, but the Italian government has been criticized for funding terrorists for paying ransom for her – some say to her “friends.”
Just a thought, but maybe if we want people to be free to choose their own faith we should extend that freedom to others? This 23 year old worked for a humanitarian organization helping children. Maybe during her captivity she came to believe and hadn’t before.
Is she suffering from Stockholm syndrome as some allege she is? No doubt she had a difficult 18 months. What we should take away from her story is asking ourselves if we are prepared to spend months or even years as captives.