News / Africa

    Australian Former Hostage Calls for Husband's Release

    Australian Jocelyn Elliott (l) who was freed by al-Qaida captors, meets Burkina Faso President  Roch Marc Christian Kaboré (r) at the presidential palace  in Ouagadougou,  Burkina Faso, Feb. 8, 2016.
    Australian Jocelyn Elliott (l) who was freed by al-Qaida captors, meets Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré (r) at the presidential palace in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Feb. 8, 2016.

    Former hostage Jocelyn Elliott arrived in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou earlier this week, just a couple of days after being released by a jihadist group linked to al-Qaida. The terrorist group had kidnapped the Australian citizen and her husband in a remote part of the West African nation in mid-January.

    Speaking to the media, she said she wants to pursue her efforts to obtain the release of her husband and keep working in the country. 

    After three weeks of detention, in the hands of a terrorist group linked to al-Qaida, former hostage Jocelyn Elliott’s first words were for the people of Burkina Faso. 

    She said she wants to thank the people of Burkina for their support during her absence.

    76 years old, Elliott was kidnapped along with her husband Ken Elliott in a remote location in northern Burkina Faso, close to the border with Mali and Niger, on January 15th. 

    The Australian couple had been living in the area for more than 40 years.They established and ran the sole medical facility in the small town of Djibo. After their kidnapping, the people of Djibo organized a rally and turned to social media to campaign for the couple's release. 

    Elliott said she hopes her husband will soon be free so they can resume their life in Djibo. 

    Burkina Faso’s president Roch Marc Christian Kaboré thanked neighboring Niger for its role in Elliott’s release, but said the effort to free Elliott's husband must continue. 

    Kaboré said he hopes Doctor Elliott will be released in the coming days.

    Burkina Faso has been increasingly targeted by Islamist terrorists groups that have been active in neighboring countries in the Sahel region, raising fears that Islamist violence could spread to other parts in West Africa. 

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