Al Qaeda Kidnappers Free Abducted Australian Woman

Last month in Burkina Faso, an Australian woman, Jocelyn Elliott, and her husband, Dr. Ken Elliott, were abducted by some people said to be members of the Al Qaeda group. Fortunately, the woman has been released, but her husband is still missing as reported by relatives of the family. The couple, who worked at a clinic in the northern town of Djibo, near the border with Mali, were seized by Al Qaeda-linked militants on January 15. According to relatives, these Australians had lived in Mali for more than four decades, and provided surgical services in Burkina Faso.

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Authorities in Burkina Faso and neighboring Niger helped secure her freedom, her family said in a statement through Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs. They also hope that those holding Ken Elliott will let him go as well, alive.

Dr. Ken Elliott and his wife, Jocelyn Elliott

The Elliott family are deeply grateful for the safe release of our mother, Jocelyn,” the statement said. “We wish to convey our great appreciation to authorities in Niger and Burkina Faso for their support and assistance. We are trusting that the moral and guiding principles of those who have released our mother will also be applied to our elderly father,” they said.

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On the same day the Elliott’s were kidnapped, the militant group attacked a cafe and hotel in the capital of Ouagadougou, killing at least 29 people. Al Qaeda-linked Al-Mourabitoun group has claimed responsibility for the Elliotts’ kidnappings and the attacks in the capital. Last week, the group said it plans to release Jocelyn Elliott because women are not their target in times of war. However, as confirmed by the Foreign Minister of Burkina Faso’s, Alpha Barry, “no ransom was paid or conditions imposed by the kidnappers for the release of Jocelyn. Continues efforts are being made to free her husband and hopefully he would soon return home to his wife, safe.