Bamako (Agenzia Fides) – Fr. Léon Dougnon, parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes in Ségué, kidnapped on June 21 on the road that connects Ségué to San, in the Mopti region, in central Mali (see Fides, 23/6/2021) has been released. According to information from Agenzia Fides, the hostages were released yesterday, June 23, by an unidentified armed group who abandoned them on a road in the Bandiagara region, fleeing with their car. The town of Bandiagara was mentioned in a statement from the diocese of Mopti, where there had been another robbery on the road. In the statement signed by the parish priest of Mopti, Fr Amoudou Kizito Togo, on behalf of the local Bishop, His Exc. Mgr. Mgr. Jean Baptiste Tiama, asked the governor of the region to activate the immediate search for the missing persons. In addition to Fr. Léon Dougnon, 50, parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes in Ségué, Thimothé Somboro, 40, village head of Ségué, Pascal Somboro, 45, deputy mayor and driver of the car, and two other members of the community, Emmanuel Somboro, 45, a catechist, and the only woman in the group, Sabine Boutié Tolofoudié. The group traveled from Ségué to San to take part in the funeral on June 22, of Fr. Oscar Thera, who had been parish priest for 9 years in Ségué.
The village of Ségué, located on the Dogon plateau, is largely populated by Catholics from the diocese of Mopti. Finally, we recall that Sister Cecilia Narváez Argoti, a Colombian religious of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary Immaculate, kidnapped in the mission in Karangasso, in southern Mali, on the evening of February 7, 2017 is still in the hands of the kidnappers. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 24/6/2021)