Colombian nun launched in Mali after four years in captivity

Abductions by al-Qaeda and ISIL-affiliated teams have been frequent as Mali struggles to include violence.

A Colombian nun who was kidnapped in 2017 by fighters in Mali has been freed.

Gloria Cecilia Narvaez was launched on Saturday after greater than 4 years of captivity. She was kidnapped by the Macina Liberation Front, an al-Qaeda-linked group, in February 2017 near the border with Burkina Faso.

“The presidency of Mali salutes the courage and bravery of the nun. This liberation is the crowning achievement of four years and eight months of combined efforts by several intelligence services,” the presidency stated in a press release.

Photos posted on the presidency’s Twitter feed confirmed Narvaez, smiling and wearing a yellow gown and scarf, assembly with Mali’s interim President Assimi Goita.

Kidnapping has been a profitable supply of money for armed teams in West Africa’s Sahel area, the place they’re waging an increasing insurgency in opposition to nationwide armies, French forces and UN peacekeepers.

The presidency didn’t say whether or not any ransom was paid for Narvaez.

Mali has been struggling since 2012 to include violence linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL-affiliated teams. The fighters have now expanded their operations from their strongholds within the nation’s desert north to its centre in addition to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

In April, a French journalist was kidnapped in northern Mali. In a hostage video, Olivier Dubois stated the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM), the biggest alliance of armed teams within the Sahel, had kidnapped him.

Gunmen kidnapped three Chinese nationals and two Mauritanians from a building web site in southwestern Mali in July.

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