The son of the French-Swiss humanitarian worker Sophie Pétronin, the last French hostage in the Sahel since her kidnapping by armed men linked to Al Qaeda at the end of 2016, flew to Bamako, Mali, on October 6, in the hope of his soon being released.
Sophie Pétronin, 75, was kidnapped on December 24, 2016 in Gao, northern Mali, where she ran a children’s aid organization.
This morning Sébastien Chadaud-Pétronin, who has traveled to Mali several times in an attempt to secure his mother’s release, has confirmed to a several news agencies that he had boarded a commercial flight to Bamako.
“There is still nothing official,” he said shortly before his plane took off. However, he referred to converging information coming from “reliable sources”.
According to a French security source in the Sahel, the hostages are being transferred to Bamako.
In a fragile state, the French humanitarian aid worker Sophie Pétronin should be released at the same time as the Malian opponent Soumaïla Cissé, kidnapped in March by a group linked to Al Qaeda, as part of a prisoner exchange, said three security sources.
More than 200 jihadists have been released in the past two days, according to security sources in Mali. (Image below: Strasbourg).