Australian released by jihadists arrives in Burkina Faso

2016-02-08 13:34


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ouagadougou - An Australian woman who was freed by her al-Qaeda captors after several weeks said on Monday that she hopes her husband who remains a hostage will soon be released as well so they can continue their charity work in the West African country.

Jocelyn Elliott, 76, had been released over the weekend in neighboring Niger after the jihadists said they did not want "to make women involved in the war." Niger's president had worked with intelligence services in Burkina Faso to secure her release, officials said.

She arrived on Monday in the capital of Burkina Faso, clutching the arm of another woman as walked down the steps off the plane in a traditional gown in vivid shades of red, green, blue and yellow.

The couple operates a medical clinic in a remote corner of the country's north where they have worked for half their lives.

"I would like to thank the Burkinabe people for their support during my absence," she told journalists in Ouagadougou. "I would like to reunite with my husband soon so that we can return to Djibo and continue the work that we do there."

The Elliott family has called on the jihadists to show mercy to Dr Kenneth Elliott, who is 81 and has provided medical care for decades to impoverished Burkinabes.

"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 Elliott family said in a statement carried by Australian media on Sunday.

The militant group behind the kidnapping, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, rose to prominence in large part through kidnap-for-ransom operations targeting foreign aid workers and tourists.

In recent months, the group has grabbed headlines with claims of responsibility for high-profile strikes in West Africa, killing 20 people in an attack on a hotel in Mali's capital in November and 30 people in an attack in Burkina Faso's capital the same day the Elliotts were kidnapped.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  australia  |  niger  |  burkina faso

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.