Jocelyn Elliot a seventy six (76) year old Australian woman involved in medical charity work, had been kidnapped along with her husband, Ken Elliot, 81, by an al-Qaeda affiliated group on the 15th of January, 2016 in Burkina Faso. She was recently freed by the group and presented by the president of neighboring Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou to journalists at a news conference in Dosso, south-west Niger, on Saturday.
The Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull who thanked the government of Niger and Burkina Faso for efforts in securing her release, also voted not to give more details about the matter as well as what they were doing to secure the release of her husband.
He told ABC television on Sunday; “I would rather not comment on that, because again we’re dealing with a difficult diplomatic situation and the Burkina Faso government is working very well on it and we’ll continue to stay in touch with them”.
Both Jocelyn and her husband Ken, had provided medical charity services in the town of Djibo since the 1970s and when she arrived Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, where she met with President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, on Monday, she told journalists; “I really hope to be with my husband soon so that we can again go to Djibo and continue (our work) there”.
She related her joy to be with her “Burkina family” and thanked the governments of Niger (who acted as a mediator to secure her release), Burkina Faso and Australia but refrained from giving details into her captivity or release.
The couple had been kidnapped in Djibo, where they provide medical charity, on the same day of the Ouagadougou attacks in a hotel and restaurant which was claimed by AQUIM, the local people had launched a social media campaign calling for their release in response to the abduction. Burkina Faso’s Foreign Minister, Alpha Barry, told the AFP news agency that “no ransom was paid or conditions imposed” by the kidnappers for her release and that efforts to free her husband were continuing.
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