Story By: Ernest Bio Bogore, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
The son of an elderly aid worker abducted in Mali by jihadists says that the French government has proof she is still alive.
According to the relatives of Sophie Petronin, the French government has “reliable” and recent proof of life of the humanitarian kidnapped in Mali and held hostage there since 24th December 2016.
Sophie’s son, Sebastien Chadaud-Petronin, said: “The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs speaks of a proof of life from early March but no details about it, it’s a bit flimsy but it’s better than nothing.
“We’re still happy to know she’s alive even though it still makes us very sad.”
Reports say that the ministry still has not made a statement about Sebastien Chadaud-Petronin’s claims.
The ministry’s spokeswoman said: “The Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and all the services concerned remain fully mobilised to obtain the release of Sophie Petronin and support her family.
For Sebastien, “it is difficult”. He says: “We have the impression that there is no prospect of getting Sophie Petronin out of her hell. With all the loved ones, we keep looking for ways to help her.”
Reports say that Sophie Petronin, who ran a small Franco-Swiss NGO helping malnourished children, was abducted on 24th December 2016 in Gao, northern Mali.
According to reports, initially, no group claimed the Frenchwoman’s abduction. Then, in July 2017, the principal jihadist alliance in the Sahel, a group known for its link to al Qaeda, released a video showing six foreigners kidnapped in Mali and Burkina Faso between 2011 and 2017, with Petronin among them.
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