Bogota (Agenzia Fides) - The Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed that it has received proof that Sister Gloria Cecilia Narvaez Argoty, the Colombian missionary abducted on 8 February in the village of Karangasso, Mali (see Fides 9/02/2017), is alive. In the communiqué sent to Agenzia Fides, this act and those who keep the religious hostage, who belongs to the Order of Franciscan Sisters, is condemned. The Foreign Ministry therefore launches "an appeal to the international community and the United Nations to provide all the necessary support and co-operation" to free the religious, and recalls that the Colombian embassy in Ghana, is working to achieve this goal.
According to agency data, on Saturday, July 1, the Al Qaeda group of Mali released a video showing the Colombian nun and five other hostages kidnapped by the jihadist network. This is the first official claim of responsibility by Al Qaeda. The 16-minute and 50 seconds video shows each of the abducted, including the nun that is identified as Gloria Cecilia Narváez. In the video as well as the Colombian religious, there is the French Sophie Petronin, South African Stephen McGowan, Australian Elliot Kenneth Arthur, Romanian Iulian Ghergut and Swiss Beatrice Stockly, kidnapped before the religious. "No authentic negotiations have begun to save them", says the speaker in the video, who cites the newly elected French President, Emmanuel Macron, claiming that Sophie Petronin "is confident that the new president of France will save her".
President Macron was in Mali yesterday for a meeting with the Heads of State of the five countries in the Sahel African region to agree on the establishment of a new multinational force of 5,000 men to face extremists. In recent years, repeated attacks resulting in deaths and injuries in countries previously considered safe, have alarmed the international community. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 03/07/2017)