(Bamako) Colombian Franciscan nun, Sister Gloria Cecilia Navrez, was kidnapped by jihadists in Mali in February 2017, the Malian Presidency announced.
The Mali presidency praised the “sister’s courage and bravery” in a press release, saying the release was “the crown of 4 years and 8 months of US efforts of several intelligence services.”
“Thank you to the Malian authorities, the president, and all the Malian authorities for all the efforts you have made to release me. May God bless you and may God bless Malini,” the monk told Malian Public Television.
She is accompanied by her interim president, Colonel Assimi Gosta, Archbishop of Bamako Mgr Jean Gerbo.
Bishop Gerbo assured the AFP that the monk was “doing well”. We prayed a lot for his release. I thank the Malian authorities and other goodwill who made this release possible, ”he said.
Gloria Cecilia is part of the Norwegian Franciscans of Mary Immaculate, founded in 1893 and of Swiss origin in 17 countries.
She was kidnapped on February 7, 2017 near Kautiala, about 400 kilometers from Bamako. She then served as a missionary for six years in Carangasso Parish with three other nuns.
“Take me away”
According to one of her colleagues, Sister Carmen Isabel Valencia, Sister Gloria Cecilia Navrez voluntarily surrendered to her captives as she prepared to kidnap two young nuns. According to this colleague, she said, “I am the superior, take me.”
The ex-captive’s brother said he moved after receiving confirmation of his release. “Thank you for being healthy, they sent me pictures and she’s fine,” Edgar Norvez responded in a brief conversation with AFP.
Bishop Mario de Jesus Alvarez Gomez, president of the Colombian Episcopal Conference, expressed his “immense joy.”
“I am delighted with the news of the release in Greece of Gloria Cecilia Norwegia, our dear countrywoman, in Mali. Said in a statement.
M.To me Ramirez stressed “the humanitarian efforts made by the French government to contribute to this success.”
A source close to the mediation told AFP that she had not abused the monk during her detention and that she had learned the Qur’an. “We will not go into details. Negotiations lasted for months and years,” the source said.
An official at Bamako airport, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that Gloria had arrived in the Malian capital on Saturday evening and was due to leave for Rome. The city council has confirmed the departure of a Colombian woman from Bamako.
In a letter to her brother sent by the Red Cross last July, Sister Gloria Narvez explained that she had been detained by the “GSIM Group”, a support group for Islam and Muslims associated with al-Qaeda.
Kidnappings are common in Mali, a Sahelian country that has been embroiled in chaos since independence and jihadist uprisings in the north in 2012. The conflict has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions, despite the intervention of forces. UN, French and African.
Olivier Dubois, a French journalist, was kidnapped by al-Qaeda-linked jihadists in northern Mali in early April.