Colombian nun kidnapped by Mali jihadists in 2017 freed

Colombian nun Gloria Cecilia Narvaez Argoti, one of the six hostages that was held by Al-Qaeda's Mali branch after being kidnapped in 2017.

Colombian nun Gloria Cecilia Narvaez Argoti, one of many six hostages that was held by Al-Qaeda’s Mali department after being kidnapped in 2017.

Website Intelligence Group / AFP

  • Mali Presidency says a nun that was kidnapped by jihadists has lastly been freed. 
  • This Colombian nun was kidnapped by gunmen in southern Mali again in 2017. 
  • Safety forces searched territories in Mali and Burkina Faso with no luck for a very long time.

A Franciscan nun from Colombia kidnapped by jihadists in Mali greater than 4 years in the past has been freed, Mali’s presidency stated.

Sister Gloria Cecilia Narvaez was taken hostage on 7 February 2017 in southern Mali close to the border with Burkina Faso the place she had been working as a missionary.

A press release on the presidential Twitter account paid tribute to her “braveness and bravado” together with images of the nun taken after her launch Saturday.

Sister Gloria stated: 

I thank the Malian authorities, the president, all of the Malian authorities, for all of the efforts you’ve got made to liberate me, might God bless you, might God bless Mali. I’m very joyful, I stayed wholesome for 5 years, thank God,” the nun stated, smiling and carrying a yellow gown.

– She spoke in photos broadcast on state tv displaying her with Mali’s interim president Colonel Assimi Goita and the archbishop of Bamako Jean Zerbo.

Her liberation had been the fruit of “4 years and eight months of the mixed effort of a number of intelligence companies”, the presidency stated.

Within the official assertion, Goita assured that “efforts are beneath approach” to safe the discharge of all these nonetheless being held in Mali.

Archbishop Zerbo stated Sister Gloria was “doing properly”.

“We prayed loads for her launch. I thank the Malian authorities and different good individuals who made this launch attainable,” the archbishop stated.

Sister Gloria, 59, was kidnapped close to Koutiala, 400 kilometres east of Bamako. She had labored as a missionary for six years within the parish of Karangasso with three different nuns.

In accordance with considered one of her colleagues, Sister Carmen Isabel Valencia, she supplied herself instead of two youthful nuns the abductors have been making ready to take.

“She is a girl of a really specific human high quality, all the way down to earth … moved by the love of the poor,” Sister Carmen stated.

MUST READ | Gunmen kidnap Colombian nun in southern Mali

In Colombia, her brother Edgar Narvaez stated he was very emotional after receiving information of her launch.

“She is in good well being, thank God. They despatched me footage and she or he appears properly,” he informed AFP.

In a letter despatched final July by the Pink Cross to her brother, Sister Gloria stated she was held by “a gaggle of GSIM”, the Al-Qaeda-linked Group to Help Islam and Muslims, the most important jihadist alliance within the Sahel.

A supply near the negotiations to launch her informed AFP she had not been ill-treated throughout her captivity and through that point she had realized the Koran.

“The negotiations lasted months, years,” stated the supply, with out giving additional particulars.

Certain for Rome

An official at Bamako airport, talking on situation of anonymity, informed AFP the nun had arrived within the Malian capital on Saturday night from the place she was resulting from fly to Rome. Her departure from Bamako was confirmed by town’s archdiocese.

In Colombia, Vice-President Marta Lucia Ramirez – who can be overseas minister – stated she was “very joyful” at Sister Gloria’s launch, which she attributed to the work of the federal government and in addition careworn the “humanitarian efforts of the French authorities to contribute to this success”.

Nationwide police director Jorge Luis Vargas additionally welcomed her launch.

He stated: 

At this time is superb information for Colombia, but additionally for the nationwide police for all of the efforts made over time to safe the secure launch of our compatriot.

Vargas stated conferences had been held with a number of European and African ambassadors to attempt to safe the nun’s launch.

“With Interpol, and with different worldwide organisations, we now have all the time sought to carry these accountable to justice.”

There have been irregular studies concerning the nun over time, together with initially of 2021, when two Europeans who managed to flee captivity reported that she was properly.

Then in March, her brother obtained proof that she was nonetheless alive, handed on from the Pink Cross.

READ | Searches throughout Mali and Burkina Faso for kidnapped nun

It was a letter written in capital letters “as a result of she all the time used capital letters”, containing the names of their mother and father and ending along with her signature, he informed AFP earlier this 12 months.

Mali has been struggling to comprise a jihadist insurgency that first emerged within the north of the nation in 2012, and which has since unfold to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

Kidnappings, as soon as uncommon, have grow to be extra frequent lately as a safety disaster has deepened in Mali, notably within the centre of the previous French colony.

French journalist Olivier Dubois was kidnapped on 8 April in northern Mali by jihadists affiliated with Al-Qaeda.

Dubois, who labored with a number of French information shops, stated in a hostage video that GSIM had kidnapped him.

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