Al-Qaeda in Mali video broadcasts of six hostages, including the French Sophie Pétronin

Emmanuel Macron will not have a moment of respite in Mali, where he arrived in the night from Saturday to Sunday. While the president of the Republic must meet several presidents of the countries of the Sahel to discuss the fight against the jihadist groups, the branch ofAl-Qaeda in Mali has broadcast a video of six foreign hostages on Saturday night, including French Sophie Pétronin, according to the ads WEBSITE, the american center specialized in the online monitoring of the threat jihadist. The video of 16 minutes and 50 seconds, not dated, was issued Saturday via the e-mail on the internet Taken by the Group of support to islam and muslims, an organization jihadist. Sophie Pétronin, at the head of an association of assistance to children, was abducted in December 2016 in Gao in the north of the country by a group of armed men. Until now, no group had claimed responsibility for her abduction.

The other five hostages are the Australian Arthur Kenneth Elliott, 82-year-old South African Stephen McGown, who was kidnapped by Al-Qaeda in northern Mali in November 2011, the Romanian Iulian Ghergut, removed in April 2015 in Burkina Faso, the swiss missionary Beatrice Stockly, kidnapped in January 2016 by the group on jihadist Al-Qaeda in the islamic Maghreb (Aqim), and the religious colombian Gloria Cecilia Narvaez Argoti, removed in February 2017 in Mali. The surgeon Arthur Kenneth Elliott and his wife Jocelyn Elliott had been kidnapped in Burkina Faso in January 2015. Jocelyn Elliott was released in February 2016.

No negotiations underway, according to the terrorists

The hostages are separately presented in the video by a man who said that there has not, until now, had negotiations for their release. At the end of the video, and without making any requests, this man provides to the families of the hostages that” no real negotiation has not started “for their release, while stating that discussions are” still active “. The South African Stephen McGown, the first to appear in the video, stated : “Now, we are making a new video, but I don’t know what to say. Everything has been said in the past. It’s all been said in previous videos that I’ve made “, according to the transcription SITE. About Sophie Pétronin, it is stated that it hopes that the French president Emmanuel Macron, who arrived in Mali, therefore, will help her return to her family, according to SITE.

Northern Mali had fallen in march-April 2012 under the thumb of jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda. The jihadists have been largely driven out of this region by an international military intervention launched in January 2013 at the initiative of France, and which continues currently. But entire areas are beyond the control of the malian armed forces and foreign, regularly subject to lethal attacks, despite the signing in may-June 2015 of a peace agreement, which is supposed to isolate definitively the jihadists.

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