Ken and Jocelyn Elliott ( – ) Burkina Faso doctors
An Australian couple have been kidnapped by extremists in Burkina Faso near the country’s borders with Niger and Mali, officials say. The Burkina Government said they were kidnapped in Baraboule, and a Malian Islamist group said the couple were in the hands of Al Qaeda-linked jihadists.
UPDATE (July 2017)
An Australian surgeon who was kidnapped in Mali last year has been pictured in a proof of life video released by al-Qaeda.
Dr Kenneth Elliott is pictured in the video along with five other foreign hostages. The recently formed Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen — associated with al-Qaeda — issued the video on Saturday on Telegram, an organisation that monitors jihadist communication, the SITE Intelligence Group said.
Islamic Terrorists are still holding captive after four months 81-year-old Australian missionary Dr Ken Elliott in Burkina Faso.
Jocelyn Elliott, who was released after being held for more than three weeks by an al-Qaeda affiliate in West Africa, said she wants to be reunited with her husband and to return to the Burkina Faso village where the two run a surgical center.
“I am very moved to be here with my Burkina family,” the 76-year-old said after the government of Burkina Faso and neighboring Niger negotiated her release, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “I want to be with my husband shortly so that we can go to Djibo and continue there.”
Her husband Ken, 81, is still being held hostage. As the sole surgeon in Djibo, he performs about 150 procedures a month.
The couple was kidnapped in an attempt to force the “release of our captives who sit behind bars and suffer the paint of imprisonment, as well as being deprived of their basic rights,” a recording from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said. Jocelyn was released after public outcry, and after al-Qaeda higher-ups told AQIM that women were not to be involved in war.
In a statement, the Elliott’s three children said they were “deeply grateful for the safe release of our mother.”
“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 family wrote.
Burkina Faso kidnap woman to be released
A militant group, connected with al-Qaeda, says it will release an Australian woman kidnapped in Burkina Faso. The group has claimed responsibility for the January 15 kidnapping of two Australians in northern Burkina Faso, according to an audio statement.
An Australian woman who was kidnapped by Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists in Burkina Faso has returned to the nation’s capital after being freed, and says she hopes to be reunited with her husband so they can continue their medical work in the African nation.
Burkina Faso’s President Roch Marc Christian Kabore said the couple in their 80s had lived in Djibo, near Baraboule, since 1972.
News of their kidnapping came as a jihadist assault on an upmarket hotel in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou left at least 29 people dead, including many foreigners. The pair, who are originally from Perth, run a medical clinic. A spokesman for Malian militant group Ansar Dine, Hamadou Ag Khallini, said in a brief phone message that they were being held by jihadists from the Al Qaeda-linked “Emirate of the Sahara”.
While Ken Elliott’s peers are mostly retired, and comfortably so after careers in medicine and health administration that rewarded them for their skills and expertise, the 81-year-old surgeon has been happy to be poor and still working hard.
Dr Elliott and his wife Jocelyn have spent the past 44 years earning no wage at a hospital they built in the landlocked West African country of Burkina Faso. Very few Australians knew the inspiring story of a West Australian farm labourer who put himself through medical school then, with his industrious wife, brought surgery and medicine to one of the poorest nations on Earth. It has never been the Elliotts’ way to seek attention.
Kidnapped Aussie Ken Elliott ‘likely moved’ out of Burkina Faso
An elderly Australian man kidnapped by jihadists in Burkina Faso in January is probably being held outside the country, Interior Minister Simon Compaore said on Thursday. Dr Kenneth Elliott and wife Jocelyn, both in their eighties, were seized in the north of the country, near the Mali and Niger borders, where they had lived for more than four decades and ran a medical clinic. Jocelyn Elliot was released in early February, but her 82-year-old husband has not been seen since. “We have information on a probable location for Doctor Elliott but it’s not in Burkina territory,” Mr Compaore told a press conference. “We have information for people from outside on a probable location and we are working with our exterior friends to verify this information.”
Rally in Djibo for kidnapped Australian doctor Ken Elliott
A full year after Australian doctor Ken Elliott was kidnapped by militants in Burkina Faso, his whereabouts remain unclear.
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