The government of Mali said this Saturday (9) that the Colombian nun Gloria Cecilia Narvaez, kidnapped four years ago by the country’s Islamic extremists, was finally released.
Militants from the Macina Liberation Front faction, a terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda, kidnapped the religious in 2017. Church members say extremists accused Gloria of wanting to convert Muslims, who are the majority in Mali.
During these years, Gloria managed to communicate with her family, who sent letters that arrived in captivity. While she was kidnapped, she learned of her mother’s death in Colombia at the age of 87.
The Colombian newspaper “El Tiempo” claims that there was concern about Gloria’s health. There are still no details about the Colombian nun’s physical condition or her possible return to the South American country.
Extremism worries North Africa
MAP – G5 of the Sahel — Photo: g1
The case involving the Colombian nun is one of many episodes of violence involving Islamic extremism in the Sahel region — strip between the Sahara desert and sub-Saharan Africa. The most tense situation is precisely where the nun was kidnapped, between Mali and Burkina Faso.
France, which colonized a large part of the region and maintains dialogue with the governments of the Sahel countries, has a military presence in the most critical areas. There were even operations that victimized the French military.
In July, President Emmanuel Macron said France would begin closing military bases in northern Mali and would maintain a limit of up to 3,000 troops in the region, far less than the 5,100 currently present.
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