the essential The former French hostage, Sophie Pétronin is currently wanted by the Malian authorities. This native of Bordeaux was kidnapped in 2016 by the support group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), affiliated with al-Qaida, then released in October 2020.
For the time being, in France, the Quai d’Orsay has not commented on this information. There is also no indication that the former French hostage was authorized to return to Mali. Especially since the region of Sikasso, located near the border with Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire is not advised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “It is recalled that the risks of attack and kidnapping in areas classified in red are particularly high, explains the Quai d’Orsay in this regard. Any travel plan is to be formally excluded”.
An irregular entry into the territory
Kidnapped for four years in Mali by the support group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), affiliated with al-Qaida, Sophie Pétronin returned to France in October 2020. This native of Bordeaux, engaged in humanitarian work, had been part of an exchange involving the release of nearly 200 jihadist fighters. She openly said she wanted to return to Gao, Mali after her release. “It’s been almost four years that I have not seen how the programs are unfolding, she told the press in Bamako. If you make a commitment, go to the end of your commitment, otherwise you will have lost your reason for to be on this earth “. Sophie Pétronin has been present in Mali for nearly sixteen years.
According to BFMTV , Sophie Pétronin had returned to Bamako, Mali, for nearly eight months. According to Franceinfo , she returned to Mali irregularly to find her adopted daughter, Zenebou, aged 19 years. The septuagenarian managed to convince her son Sébastien. Still according to Franceinfo , Sophie Pétronin and her family pretended to want to take a vacation in Casamance (Senegal) and reserved their seats for a flight to Geneva -Dakar. Upon their arrival, the Pétronins reached the Malian borders on foot in three days, using buses or even motorcycle taxis.
The septuagenarian had previously expressed her discomfort since her release, not supporting the atmosphere of the small Swiss town of Porrentruy where she lived. She had spoken to her relatives on several occasions about wanting to end her life if she did not return to Bamako.