Sophie Pétronin, a former French hostage in Mali, has been living in Bamako for almost eight months. She entered the country irregularly in March after she returned to France. This is what makes people react.
Hostage in Mali for nearly four years, kidnapped by jihadists in Gao, released in October 2020, the French Sophie Pétronin is back on the media scene. The ex-hostage has returned to Mali, and it’s not surprising.
Helped by her son Sébastien who let himself be convinced by his mother who was not “Not happy”In Switzerland, where she had been living ever since her release, she illegally returned in March 2021. According to Radio France’s information, she has lived in Bamako since then, as confirmed by AFP.
“She decided to, to go against all odds to find her daughter, who lives in Bamako ”Anthony Fouchard, journalist, and author, says: Author of a book about the detention of the Frenchwoman Radio France. The French government reacts to the return to Mali, and the French government questions their relations with France. L’Obs retraces this story in five acts.
Sophie Pétronin was kidnapped on December 24, 2016 in Gao, in northern Mali, where she headed a children’s aid organization. The Support Group for Islam & Muslims held this humanitarian captive for nearly four years. This alliance of armed Malian Islamist movement under the aegis Al-Qaeda Islam Maghreb (AQIM) was responsible for the kidnapping.
Released in October 2020 at the same time as two other Western hostages and the politician Soumaila Cissé against a ransom and the release of around 200 suspected jihadists, Sophie Pétronin has never made a secret of her dearest desire: to return to Mali .
According to her entourage the ex-detainee could not bear her release from captivity. The ex-hostage mentioned that he wanted to return to Mali as soon as he arrived in France. On several occasions, the humanitarian worker involved in Mali for twenty-five years, raised the possibility of ending her life during family reunions, in the presence of the children of her son Sébastien who accompanied her on her return to Mali.
The humanitarian tried twice to get a visa for Mali reveals family, but was denied both in Switzerland and France.
Not enough to discourage her because Sophie Pétronin who wanted to find the country in which she lived for 25 years and especially to hug her “daughter” Zeinabou, now aged 19, legally adopted in Gao, the northern region of the country.
Sophie Pétronin had taken steps shortly after her release to return to Mali but had encountered the refusal of the local authorities to issue her a visa. Our colleagues in France claim that the Quai D’Orsay was also blocking Sophie Petronin.
She continued to be positive and entered the country by road last March with her son from Senegal, where she had been on a tourist trip. After arriving in Dakar, March, she and her son set off on a journey of 3 days and 1300km to Mali. They traveled by bus and mototaxi.
In his story published by “Médiapart”, Anthony Fouchard explains that the two French people were recognized at the border by the police forces of Senegal and Mali. In exchange, they were allowed to enter the country. “Some tickets” Malian side.
Friday, October 29 in the evening, the general direction of the Malian gendarmerie broadcast internally a search notice targeting Sophie Pétronin, which Radio France was able to authenticate, and which ended up being shared on social networks. The document requests that the police locate, apprehend, and “Lead her under good escort”Bamako. The notice also claims that she was located south of the country in the Sikasso area.