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French Nun abducted by Jihadists appears in video pleads to Macron and Pope Francis

West & Central Africa

French Nun abducted by Jihadists appears in video pleads to Macron and Pope Francis

Sophie Petronin, a French aid worker, kidnapped in Mali by the Islamic terrorist group, Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM), in 2016 has appeared on a propaganda video released Wednesday June 16 by the jihadists together with Gloria Cecilia Narvaez Argoti, a Franciscan Sister and missionary, kidnapped on 7 February 2017, in Karangasso, near Koutiala, in southern Mali.

The captives, looking frail in the video shot in a tent-like structure address the camera one after the other. Petronin, addressing the French President Emmanuel Macron, gave the date she was speaking as June 7, 2018, and tearfully speaks to her son telling him she is “very, very exhausted.” Narvaez then addresses Pope Francis, begging him to intervene for Petronin, who she is “truly sick.”

Pétronin, 75, was working for an organisation for malnourished children when she was abducted in 2016 by armed men in the northern Malian town of Gao. 

Gloria who had worked as a missionary for six years before her abduction, previously appeared in a propaganda video in July 2017. At that time, they accused her of “supporting the crusaders in Mali by preaching Christianity” and presented this as the reason for her abduction, together with six other Western hostages. Three of their number kidnapped in Mali or Burkina Faso have since been released.

Northern Mali has been under the control of a coalition of jihadist groups linked to al Qaeda since 2012. The French military, which has a drone base in the region, has been battling the Terrorists groups backed by and UN forces and recently, after the Killing of four American green Barret in 2017, Donald Trump has gotten government’s approval to weaponize drone to fight the Jihadists.

 

Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos

Image credits/Google Images/Sophie/Gloria/ Al qaeda Video

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