Militants have released an Australian woman in neighbouring Niger. She was kidnapped with her doctor husband last month in Burkina Faso.
Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou confirmed her arrival and presented her in a media conference held in Dosso, southwestern Niger. He said that good cooperation between Niger and Burkina Faso helped accomplish her release. Collective efforts are under process for her husband’s release.
In a report filed by 9News, Ms Elliott said”to the Burkina and Niger authorities, I thank you for all your efforts and thank you for all you have done for us. Thank you,”.
Authorities have not disclosed any information related to her release. It is believed that it could endanger her husband’s release.
Jocelyn Elliot and Ken Elliot was allegedly kidnapped by the Al-Qaida-affiliated group in Baraboule, a nearby town, touching the border with Mali and Niger. They had been running a medical clinic in Dijibo which has 120 beds, where Ken as the only surgeon serving 1 million people, according to a report.
It caused outrage in the entire West Africa, where people launched a social media campaign for their release.
The kidnapping of the couple was aimed to free the imprisoned fighters and they didn’t want to involve a woman in the war, said the group in an audio recording translated by SITE Intelligence, according to a report by BBC.
Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull thanked the Burkina Faso government for their cooperation. He said “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”
In a statement by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the family was happy over her release. It said that “we wish to convey our great appreciation to authorities in Niger and Burkina Faso for their support and assistance in facilitating her release.
“For over four decades she has served the Burkinabe people together with our father Dr Ken Elliott. They are separated now but united in their desire to bring healing and hope to the people of Northern Burkina Faso and the surrounding regions.”