Colombian Franciscan nun kidnapped nearly five years ago in Mali released

BAMAKO — The Presidency of Mali announced the release of Colombian Franciscan nun Gloria Cecilia Narvaez who was kidnapped near the southern town of Koutiala near the border of Burkina Faso nearly five years ago.

Colombian Vice President and Foreign Minister Marta Lucia Ramirez said she was very happy to hear of the liberation of Narvaez, adding that Colombian authorities had been working for several months to free her. Colombian President Ivan Duque personally raising the issue with the leaders of Mali, Senegal, and Ghana.

Ramirez stated that during her last visit to Paris, she was able to analyze the last evidence of the nun’s kidnapping and that she had asked the French government to assist in the efforts to rescue her.

It was reported at the time of her kidnapping that an al-Qaeda cell was holding Narvaez and demanded a ransom for her release. The Malian government did not clarify whether the nun was released with or without ransom.