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Entertainment The former French hostage in Mali Sophie Pétronin on her way to France

15:30  09 october  2020
15:30  09 october  2020 Source:   lepoint.fr

Mali: more than 100 jihadists freed for a possible exchange

 Mali: more than 100 jihadists freed for a possible exchange Video: "Syrian jihadist fighters" present in Karabakh, indicates Macron (Le Figaro) Your browser does not support this video © - Capture d ' June 13, 2018 screen of French hostage Sophie Pétronin, kidnapped on December 24, 2016 in Gao, central Mali More than a hundred convicted or suspected jihadists were released in Mali over the weekend in the framework of negotiations for the release of a Malian persnnalité and a French woman supposed to be in the hands of the jihadists, we learned on Monday

The Malian presidency confirmed Thursday that French charity worker Sophie Pétronin , who was abducted in Mali and held hostage since December 2016, has been released. The former hostages are en route for Bamako,” the Malian presidency wrote on Twitter Thursday.

Sophie Pétronin , a 75-year-old aid worker who was the last French hostage in the world until her release on Thursday, was greeted by French President Emmanuel Macron on an airport tarmac outside Paris on Friday. She had been held captive by jihadists in Mali since her abduction on Christmas Eve

  L'ex-otage française au Mali Sophie Pétronin en route pour la France © Supplied by Le Point

Sophie Pétronin, the last French hostage in the world, has regained freedom in Mali and was expected at midday on Friday in France , epilogue of nearly four years of detention in the hands of suspected jihadists.

The plane carrying the former French hostage left Mali on Friday morning and is due to land at 12:30 p.m. at Villacoublay air base, south of Paris , the Elysee said. Sophie Pétronin will be welcomed there by President Emmanuel Macron .

"His release is a huge relief. To the Malian authorities, thank you. The fight against terrorism in the Sahel continues," President Emmanuel Macron reacted on Thursday evening on Twitter .

Mali frees over 100 jihadists seeking hostage swap

  Mali frees over 100 jihadists seeking hostage swap Insurgency-hit Mali freed over 100 alleged or convicted jihadists over the weekend in a bid to secure the release of a top politician and French charity worker, an official in charge of the negotiations told AFP on Monday. The rare mass release of prisoners, confirmed by a member of the security services, comes as an eight-year Islamist insurgency, that has claimed thousands of lives, continues to threaten the fragile West African country. © STRINGER Swathes of the sprawling country remain outside government control Soumaila Cisse, a 70-year-old former opposition leader and three-time presidential candidate, was abducted on March 25 while campaigning in his

Sophie Petronin (centre) is greeted by the French president, Emmanuel Macron (second left), on her arrival at the Petronin said she had been treated relatively well during captivity. Her account contrasted with that of fellow hostage Soumaïla Cissé, a prominent Malian politician who recounted

Authorities in Mali have confirmed the release of an elderly French aid worker, two Italian captives and a top Malian politician, all believed to have been held by jihadists. A tweet on Thursday said that French woman Sophie Pétronin , 75, and Soumaïla Cissé, 70, were on their way to the capital

Sophie Pétronin was released Thursday at the same time as a priest and a young Italian, as well as the Malian politician Soumaïla Cissé.

The reunion between the septuagenarian and her son Sébastien Chadaud, who has fought since the start of his mother's captivity so that her fate is not forgotten, took place Thursday evening at Bamako airport, where the hostages have made a first step.

"You were there by my side telling me: + hold on +", we can hear him say, the veiled head covered with a thin veil bench, to his son, on a video posted on social networks.

The hostages, in the hands of the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), an alliance of jihadist groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda , were received in the Malian presidency, where they appeared in good health.

Mali: after the liberation of jihadists, cautious hope for the hostages Pétronin and Cissé

 Mali: after the liberation of jihadists, cautious hope for the hostages Pétronin and Cissé © - Screenshot of June 13, 2018 of the French hostage Sophie Pétronin, kidnapped on December 24, 2016 in Gao, in the center of Mali A significant development seemed to be taking shape in Mali on Tuesday in the efforts to free the last French hostage in the world, Sophie Pétronin, and that of one of the highest Malian political figures, Soumaïla Cissé.

Sophie Petronin was released with three other hostages from Mali and Italy this week. Before leaving Mali 's capital, she said PARIS (AP) — A 75-year-old French aid worker held hostage for four years by Islamic extremists in Mali was reunited Friday with her grandchildren in France , as relatives also

Sophie Petronin arrives in Paris and is embraced by relatives and President Macron. President Macron expressed joy and relief at Sophie A 75-year-old French aid worker held hostage for four years by armed groups in Mali arrived on Friday in France and was greeted by President Emmanuel Macron.

Their release completes an operation whose genesis, progress but also the implications for the transitional government in Mali are surrounded by vast gray areas.

It coincided with the release between Sunday and Tuesday of several dozen prisoners that Malian officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, presented as jihadists, but whose identity and profile did not have not been disclosed.

Rumors and confusion

After four days of information, rumors and confusion, the Malian presidency on Thursday evening broke the silence observed by the authorities in Bamako, but also in Paris. She "confirms the release of Mr. Soumaïla Cissé and Ms. Sophie Pétronin. The ex-hostages are on their way to Bamako," she said on Twitter.

Ms. Pétronin and Mr. Cissé boarded a plane in Tesssalit, a town in the vast desert north close to the Algerian border, before meeting theirs in Bamako.

Shortly after the tweet of the Malian presidency, the Malian government also announced the release of Italians Nicola Chiacchio and Pier Luigi Maccalli. Their names had never appeared publicly in these rumors and liberation negotiations until then.

French, Italian captives freed with top politician in Mali

  French, Italian captives freed with top politician in Mali Mali announced Thursday the release of an elderly French aid worker, two Italian captives and a top Malian politician, all believed to have been held by jihadists. French President Emmanuel Macron immediately voiced "immense relief" at the release of the worker, the last French hostage in the world, and expressed France's continued support for Mali in its fight against an Islamist insurgency. Mali's presidency said in a tweet on Thursday that Frenchwoman Sophie Petronin, 75, and Soumaila Cisse, 70, were on their way to the capital Bamako.

French charity worker Sophie Pétronin and ex- Malian opposition leader Soumaïla Cissé have been Four people abducted and detained in Mali , including 75-year-old French charity worker Sophie She has now arrived in France . Two Italian nationals were also freed. The release was part of a prisoner

A 75-year-old French aid worker held hostage for four years by Islamic extremists in Mali was reunited Friday with her grandchildren in France , as relatives “The French and I are glad to see you back at last, dear Sophie Petronin ,” Macron tweeted. “Welcome home.” Petronin met with Macron for about

Singularly, the government indicated that the release of the four hostages dated back to Tuesday. In fact, Soumalia Cissé told the media, it was even Monday that "we were informed that we (were) free".

Sophie Pétronin, 75, was kidnapped on December 24, 2016 in Gao (northern Mali), where she had lived and had headed a children's aid organization for years.

"For Mali, I will pray, implore the blessings and mercy of Allah, because I am a Muslim. You say Sophie, but it is Mariam that you have in front of you", she said.

Pier Luigi Maccalli, installed for eleven years in Niger, was kidnapped in 2018 from his home in Bamoanga (southwestern Niger), near Burkina Faso.

He first appeared in a video shot in March 2020, in the company of compatriot Nicola Chiacchio, a private Nigerien newspaper reported. Nicola Chiacchio, hitherto unknown, was presented by the media as a young man who disappeared in northern Mali in February 2019 while traveling by bicycle.

As for Soumaïla Cissé, 70, a figure of the Malian opposition, he was kidnapped on March 25 while he was campaigning for the legislative elections in the region of Timbuktu (north-west).

sd-lal-al-dar / pa / spi

09/10/2020 10:15:06 - Paris (AFP) - © 2020 AFP

Hostages in Mali: a success of the jihadists with incalculable fallout .
© STRINGER The former hostage Sophie Pétronin, with her son Sébastien Chadaud-Pétronin in Bamako, October 8, 2020 First of all, a certainty: it is the jihadist alliance in the Sahel linked to Al-Qaeda, which emerges victorious from the exchange in Mali of 200 detainees against four hostages.

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