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The Government has “sacrificed” Sophie Petronin, son alleges

West & Central Africa

The Government has “sacrificed” Sophie Petronin, son alleges

Report by Hassan John

Sebastien Chadaud-Petronin, the son of Sophie Petronin, the French woman kidnapped in December 24, 2016, in Gao, northern Mali, where she worked as a missionary helping orphans, has accused the French government of abandoning his mother to the jihadists, stating that the French government has taken “the decision to sacrifice my mother.”

Sebastien also accused the government of sidelining him in decisions concerning his mother.

The French foreign ministry, in response to the allegation said the government was doing everything possible to set Sophie free and pointed out that Sebastien’s comments were not helpful. “The son of Madame Petronin has received unprecedented support from the French authorities” who had paid for his eight trips to the Sahel region, a source in the ministry told AFP.

French authorities said though Sabastien, claims to have made contact with certain intermediaries in attempt to secure his mother’s release, “we don’t doubt his sincerity, but he is being manipulated by the abductors and their numerous intermediaries,” a source said.

Sophie Petronin Photo credit: France 24

The Islamist jihadi group, Al Qaeda in the Maghreb, released a video, last year, of Sophie appealing to President Macron for her release. Again a video of her voice, over her picture was also released in November and the jihadists claimed her health had deteriorated.

Meanwhile the attack on villages and security forces in Mali, y radical Islamic terror groups, have continued with the recent killing of 160 people on March 23 in the village of Ogossagou near the border with Burkina Faso, the SITE Intelligence Group said.

Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), the leading Islamist group in Mali, claimed responsibility, in a statement, saying it carried out the attack “in commitment to its past vow to avenge and exact retribution for the martyrs from the Ogossagou massacre.”

The attack was followed by the killing of 16 soldiers last week which prompted the resignation of the Malian Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga and his entire cabinet.

Islamic insurgency in Mali, United Nations said, has killed about 600 people since March 2018 and forced thousands from their homes.

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