West & Central Africa

Mali: Catholic Nun abducted by Macina Militia, Police confirms

Colombian national police reported last week that Sister Gloria Cecilia Narvaez, a Colombian citizen, who was kidnapped by gunmen in Mali on 7 February was abducted by the Macina militia.

“Intelligence tells us that it is the Macina Liberation Front [an Islamist radical sect of Fulani cattle herders and farmers from central Mali]. We’ll have to wait for a statement from that group to know what they will demand,” said General Fernando Murillo, the head of the national police’s anti-kidnapping division.

A security unit, back by France, is still searching for the nun. Murillo said it was possible that Gloria may have been taken out of Mali or to Burkina Faso. The kidnappers have so far sent no proof of life or ransom demands, he added. “We think she was taken by mistake – that she was not the target,” Murillo said in an interview.

There has not been any demands or proof of the abduction by the suspected Militia.

The police said if there is a ransom demand, neither the Narvaez’s religious order nor her family will have the funds to pay.

Four Malians have, however, been arrested and detained in connection to the disappearance of the Nun.

Investigators have said they suspected Islamist militants as the abductors.

Kidnapping has been one of the major source of funds for Islamic terrorist groups like Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and al Mourabitoun.