After 4 years and 8 months in captivity, the Colombian nun sister Gloria Cécilia Narvaez was released this weekend in northern Mali. On Saturday, October 9, she arrived in Bamako where she was received by the President of the Transition, Colonel Assimi Goïta in the presence of Cardinal Jean Zerbo, Archbishop of Bamako, before flying to Rome where she met Pope Francis on Sunday. What are the details of his release after being kidnapped by jihadists near Iyad Ag Ghali?
as reported from Bamako, Serge Daniel
At the request of the Vatican, the Christian Sant’Egidio community in Rome played an important role. In August last year, in favor of an official stay in Bamako, Sant’Egidio officials took the matter further. For example, there was a meeting with local mediators who were used to the release of the hostages, as well as a meeting – according to our information – with intelligence officers in the sub-region.
At the Catholic Church in Mali, discretionary instructions have been given. According to a source who is at the heart of the matter, between April and May, the kidnappers of the Colombian nun have already agreed to release her, but at the last minute a grain of sand in the machine failed the operation.
The Malian and Italian intelligence services have reportedly decided to better coordinate measures to secure his release. From a source close to a Malian mediator known in this type of case, the nun was in the hands of supporters of jihadist leader Iyad Ag Ghali from the support group for Islam and Muslims.
One question arises: in exchange for the release, was it the payment of ransom and / or the release of jihadists imprisoned here or elsewhere? Our interlocutor replies: “It is a humanitarian gesture”.
This is the same group that kidnapped and released two Italian citizens, including a priest, last year. And it’s the same jihadist group as detains the French journalist Olivier Dubois.
► Read also: Mali announces that Colombian nun Gloria Narvaez was kidnapped in 2017