Sunday, February 7, 2016 5:40 am
*82 year old husband still being held
An elderly Australian woman kidnapped by Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists in Burkina Faso has been released and efforts are underway to secure the release of her husband, officials said.
Burkinabe Foreign Minister Alpha Barry said Jocelyn Elliott was released Saturday in neighbouring Niger.
“She arrived without problems in Niger. She was received by Niger’s President Issoufou Mahamadou,” Barry told AFP.
“She was released thanks to the action of President Issoufou,” he said, adding that discussions were ongoing with the Niger authorities on her return to Burkina Faso.
Barry said efforts were underway to secure the release of Ken Elliott.
“For now we know that her husband is alive and well. Now further negotiations will begin for his release and we will do everything to secure it,” said Barry.
The diplomat said “no ransom was paid or conditions imposed” by the kidnappers for the release of the hostage.
In a statement, the Elliott family said they were “deeply grateful” for Jocelyn’s release.
“We are trusting that the moral and guiding principles of those who have released our mother will also be applied to our elderly father who has served the community of Djibo and the Sahel for more than half his lifetime,” the statement said.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull Sunday thanked Niger and Burkina Faso for their efforts.