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Entertainment: Liberation to Mali of a Colombian nun Removed in 2017

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Photo non datée de la religieuse franciscaine colombienne Cecilia Narvaez Argoti, enlevée au Mali en 2017, dont la libération a été annoncée le 9 octobre 2021 © HO Non-dated photo of the Franciscan Nun Columbian Cecilia Narvaez Argoti, removed in Mali in 2017, whose release was announced on October 9, 2021

a Franciscan religious Colombian , Sister Gloria Cecilia Navarez, removed in February 2017 by Jihadists in Mali, was released on Saturday, announced the Malian presidency.

The Presidency of Mali greeted in a statement "The courage and bravery of the sister", stating that this release is "the coronation of 4 years and 8 months of combined efforts of several information services".

"I thank the Malian authorities, the president, all the Malian authorities for all the efforts you made to free myself. May God bless you, God bless Mali," said the nun at the public television Malian.

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It appeared alongside the acting president, Colonel Assimi Goïta, is the archevish of Bamako Mgr Jean Zerbo.

Bishop Zerbo assured AFP that the nun "is well". "We prayed a lot for his liberation. I thank the Malian authorities and the other good wishes who allowed this release," he said.

Gloria Cecilia Narvaez is part of the Franciscanities of Mary Immaculate, a congregation of Swiss origin founded in 1893 and present in 17 countries.

She had been removed on February 7, 2017 near Koutiala, 400 km east of Bamako. She then worked as a missionary for six years in the parish of Karangasso with three other nuns.

- "Take me" -

According to one of his colleagues, Sister Carmen Isabel Valencia, Sister Gloria Cecilia Navarez had voluntarily delivered to his kidnappers while they were preparing to remove two younger nuns. "I'm the superior, take me," she said, according to this colleague.

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The brother of the former hostage was moved, after having confirmed the release. "Thank God, she is in good health, they sent me photos and she looks good," reacted Edgar Narvaez, in a brief conversation with AFP.

The President of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia, Bishop Mario de Jesús Álvarez Gómez, for his part expressed his "immense joy".

"I welcome the news of the release to the Mali of our dear compatriot, the religious Gloria Cecilia Narváez, a goal that we set ourselves within the national government and for which we worked with the President (Colombian Ivan) Duque for many months, "said Colombian Foreign Minister for his part in a statement, Marta Lucía Ramírez.

Soeur Cecilia Narvaez Argoti, dans une vidéo rendue publique le 2 juillet 2017 © - Sister Cecilia Narvaez Argoti, in a video made public on July 2, 2017

Ms. Ramirez also highlighted the "French government's humanitarian efforts to contribute to this success".

A source close to mediation entrusted AFP that the nun had not been ill-treated during his detention and learned the Qur'an. "We will not say any details. The negotiations lasted months, from the years," said this source.

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A leader of Bamako airport, speaking under the cover of anonymity, AFP said Gloria arrived on Saturday night in the Malian capital of where she must fly to Rome. The departure of Colombian Bamako has been confirmed by the archbishopric of the city.

In a letter transmitted last July by the Red Cross to his brother, Sister Gloria Narvaez explained to be held by "a group of GSIM", the support group for Islam and Muslims, linked to Al Qaeda.

The kidnappings are common in Mali, a Sahelian country taken in the turmoil since the triggering of independence and jihadist insurrections in the north in 2012. The conflict has made thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of displaced, despite the intervention of UN forces, French and African.

A French journalist, Olivier Dubois, was removed in early April in the north of Mali by jihadists affiliated with al-Qaeda.

KT-SD-AH / AD / ROC / NZG

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