Sophie Pétronin

Revealed: how former hostage Sophie Pétronin secretly returned to Mali

International — Investigation

News emerged at the weekend that former French hostage Sophie Pétronin, 76, who was held captive for almost four years by an al-Qaeda affiliate in Mali until her release in October last year, secretly returned to the West African country in March, and has since been living with her adopted daughter in the capital Bamako. Her presence in the country was made public after the Malian authorities on Saturday issued a warrant for her arrest, for reasons that are still unclear. In this report for Mediapart, journalist Anthony Fouchard, who is close to Pétronin and her family, reveals the details of how the humanitarian worker, together with her son, succeeded in the long clandestine journey to Bamako.    

French hostage freed in Mali says detention was 'spiritual retreat'

France — Link

'If you accept what is happening, it will not go too badly. If you resist, you will hurt yourself,' Sophie Pétronin said after nearly four years in captivity.

French hostage Sophie Pétronin freed after being held in Mali

International — Link

French president Emmanuel Macron welcomed news of Sophie Pétronin's release as well as that of Soumaïla Cissé – a prominent Malian politician who was abducted in Mali on March 25.

Son of aid worker abducted in Mali says France has ‘proof of life’

France — Link

Sébastien Chadaud-Pétronin said he was relieved to know his mother Sophie Pétronin, abducted in 2016, was alive, but said he felt there was no way to get her 'out of this hell'.

French and West African presidents launch Sahel armed force

France — Link

Move came as Emmanuel Macron vowed to 'eradicate' kidnappers of French citizen Sophie Pétronin, who has appeared in hostage video.

French aid worker kidnapped in Mali

International — Link

French and Malian troops are searching for Sophie Pétronin, who ran an NGO helping children suffering from malnutrition, who was kidnapped in the city of Gao in northern Mali on Christmas Eve.