The former hostages Soumaïla Cissé and Sophie Pétronin, on their way to Bamako
Soumaïla Cissé and Sophie Pétronin, the former hostages had been expected for more than two days in Bamako. They are finally free and on their way to the capital, as indicated in the tweet of the Malian presidency.
This is the release after months of difficult negotiations, which accelerated this summer. That of the leader of the Malian opposition, kidnapped in March in his constituency, was well under way when Paris and Bamako, to take advantage of the momentum, added the name of the Frenchwoman, 75 years old, ill and held hostage for almost four years. The release of Sophie Pétronin was finally accepted by her captors, taking into account her age and the fact that she is a woman.
In addition to the release of 206 people detained for terrorist offences - we are talking about all the prisoners since 2013 - Yiad Ag Ghaly's Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM) is said to have obtained the payment of a ransom of two million euros, paid by Qatar.
The negotiator since July would be the former Malian MP Ahmada Ag Bibi, known for his proximity to the head of the GSIM.