NewsWorldMali: an Italian family and a Togolese kidnapped by...

Mali: an Italian family and a Togolese kidnapped by “armed men”

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Published on: 05/21/2022 – 12:10 An Italian couple and their child, as well as a Togolese national, were kidnapped overnight from Thursday to Friday in Sincina, in southeastern Mali. A locality located about a hundred kilometers from Burkina Faso, a country where several Westerners have been kidnapped in recent years. An Italian couple and their child, as well as a Togolese national, were kidnapped “by armed men” in southeastern Mali, near the border with Burkina Faso, AFP learned on Friday May 20. . “Armed men kidnapped three Italian nationals and a Togolese on Thursday night (…) We are doing everything to obtain their release,” said a Malian security source who requested anonymity. specifying that the kidnapping took place in the locality of Sincina, in the southeast. “They are religious. We are doing everything to obtain their release, and we have diplomatic contacts”, added this source. In the evening, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed “the kidnapping of three compatriots in Mali”. He assured that he was doing “everything” to find a positive outcome to this case, while emphasizing, “in agreement with the members of the family, the need to maintain the greatest discretion”. that the head of Italian diplomacy, Luigi Di Mario, was following “personally the developments of this affair”. The town of Sincina is located about a hundred kilometers from Burkina Faso, a country where several Westerners have been kidnapped in recent years. frequentKidnappings are common in Mali and their motivations can be diverse (villainous, political, etc.). In most cases, the conditions and circumstances for the release of hostages are never known or clearly established. This Sahelian country has been the scene since 2012 of attacks carried out by jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State organization, as well as violence of all kinds perpetrated by self-proclaimed self-defense militias and bandits. , which started from the north in 2012, spread to the center and then to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger. They caused thousands of civilian and military deaths as well as hundreds of thousands of displaced people, despite the deployment of UN, French and African forces. Frenchman Olivier Dubois, a 47-year-old freelance journalist living and working in Mali since 2015, was kidnapped in Mali more than a year ago. He had himself announced his abduction in a video posted on social networks on May 5, 2021. He explained there that he had been kidnapped on April 8 in Gao, in the north, by the Support Group for Islam and Muslims. (GSIM, or Jnim in Arabic), the main jihadist alliance in the Sahel, linked to Al-Qaeda and led by the Malian Tuareg leader Iyad Ag Ghaly. On March 13, a video circulated on social networks, showing a man who appears to be the French journalist and who addresses his relatives and the French government. In addition to Olivier Dubois, several other Western hostages are being held in the Sahel. Their entourage or their government sometimes choose not to communicate about the abductions. And these are not systematically claimed by their authors. With AFP

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