Gloria Narvaez, a Colombian nun kidnapped more than four years ago in Mali by Islamic extremists linked to Al-Qaeda, has been released, Mali’s acting president Assimi Goita reported on Saturday. “I thank God and thank the Malian authorities for all their efforts to be free,” she said in a short statement.
Gloria Narvaez was kidnapped in February 2017 near Mali’s Burkina Faso border. She was held by al-Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb. The kidnappers published several videos in which a nun asked the Vatican for help.
“The release is the culmination of four years and eight months of joint efforts by several intelligence services,” President Mali said in a statement on Saturday. The conditions and circumstances of the woman’s release have not been disclosed.
A photo of a smiling sister Narvaez in a yellow robe and a headscarf, sitting in the company of President Assimi Goit was published on Twitter.
“God bless you, Mali”
Her meeting with the acting president of Mali Assimi Goita was shown on state television.
“First, I thank God who is light and peace, I thank the Malian authorities, the president, for all efforts to be free,” Narvaez said in a brief statement on state television. – God bless you, Mali. Thank you very much – she added. A group linked to al-Qaeda is still holding several other Westerners, including an American clergyman kidnapped in Niger and a French journalist. Kidnappings are a lucrative source of income for Sahel Islamists who are leading an insurgency against local armies as well as French troops and UN peacekeepers stationed in West Africa.
Main photo source: Twitter / @ GoitaAssimi