MALI: Renewed call for Sister’s release after 4 years’ captivity

Sister Gloria Cecilia Narvaez Argoty © Aid to the Church in Need
Sister Gloria Cecilia Narvaez Argoty © Aid to the Church in Need

Four years after a religious Sister in Mali was seized by Islamist extremists linked to Al Qaeda, the country’s Church has renewed calls for her to be set free.

Colombian-born Sister Gloria Cecilia Narvaez Argoty was kidnapped by the Support Front for Islam and Muslims in February 2017 while she was working in Karangasso, Mali, close to the border with Burkina Faso.

Father Alexandre Denou, General Secretary of the Episcopal Conference of Mali, told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that the Church is praying and campaigning for her release.

Father Denou said that in October 2020 the Church received news that Sister Gloria was still alive, following the release of 75-year-old French doctor Sophie Pétronin, who was also held by the same jihadist group.

He said: “The information we have about Sister Gloria Cecilia’s state of health was provided by former hostage Sophie Pétronin.

“The release of Sophie and other hostages was a sign of hope for us.”

Before her abduction, Sister Gloria spent 12 years undertaking mission work in Africa including Benin and Mali.

Original story by Paulo Aido and Ximena Rondon