The head of a children’s humanitarian group was kidnapped on Christmas eve by armed men in Gao in northern Mali.
Sophie Pétronin of the group Aide à Gao is a nutritionist who lived in teh town since the early 2000s and has escaped a kidnapping in 2012.
The French foreign ministry confirmed the abduction of Sophie Pétronin on Sunday and assured that they are working with Malian authorities to get her released.“We are still searching for Sophie, we have men on the ground to find her, but so far there are no results,” a Malian security source told AFP on Sunday morning.
The French soldiers Barkhane force in the region are also actively involved in the search with the Malians, according to a French military source.
Between 2010 and 2013, 13 French citizens were kidnapped or killed in the Sahel region by either jihadist groups linked to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) or criminals involved in selling hostages to the highest bidder.