Sun 10 October 2021:
A Colombian nun who was kidnapped by Mali rebels in 2017 has been released.
After more than four years in captivity, Gloria Cecilia Narvaez was released on Saturday.
She was kidnapped in February 2017 near the Burkina Faso border by the Macina Liberation Front, an al-Qaeda-linked group.
Narvaez met with Mali’s interim President, Assimi Goita, after her release.
Pope Francis this morning met Gloria Cecilia Narváez, a Colombian nun who was kidnapped in Mali in 2017 and was released yesterday. They met in St Peter’s Basilica before the Mass to open the synod. (Photos from @OscarElizaldeP) pic.twitter.com/Czq52hdHSM
— Christopher Lamb (@ctrlamb) October 10, 2021
“I first thank God, who is the light and the peace, I thank the Malian authorities, the president for all the efforts made so that I am free,” she said in a brief statement made on state television.
“I am very happy, I stayed healthy for five years, thank God,” she added.
Libération ce jour 09 Octobre de la sœur religieuse Colombienne Gloria NARVAEZ. Elle avait été enlevée le 7 février 2017 à Karangasso, dans le cercle de Koutiala à la frontière entre le Mali et le Burkina Faso.
La Présidence du Mali salue le courage et la bravoure de la sœur. pic.twitter.com/xIDiIhzjMR
— Presidence Mali (@PresidenceMali) October 9, 2021
Photos posted on the Malian presidency’s Twitter feed showed Narvaez, smiling and dressed in a yellow robe and headscarf, as she met with Goita.
“The Mali presidency salutes the nun’s bravery and courage.” The president noted in a statement that “this liberation is the result of four years and eight months of combined work by many intelligence services.”
The nun had not been ill-treated throughout her detention, during which she had learned the Quran, according to a person close to the negotiations.
Since 2012, Mali has been battling al-Qaeda and ISIL-affiliated groups for control of the country.
The fighters have moved their operations from the country’s desert north to the country’s center, as well as neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.
Kidnapping, which was once uncommon, has suddenly become a profitable income source for armed gangs.
A French journalist was kidnapped in northern Mali in April.
FOLLOW INDEPENDENT PRESS:
TWITTER (CLICK HERE)
FACEBOOK (CLICK HERE)
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!