In a recent report published by HumAngle, the former Prime Minister of Mali, Moussa Mara, expressed fear that with huge sums paid as ransom to jihadists in exchange for hostages, the abduction of highly-placed individuals as well as foreigners in the Sahel countries may be turned into an industry.
This fear seems to be coming to reality as the authorities in Niger Republic on Tuesday, October 27, 2020, announced the abduction of a North American citizen.
An official note announcing the abduction of the victim did not disclose his identity for diplomatic reasons but explained that he was abducted 400km east of the Nigerien capital, Niamey.
Sources familiar with the abduction said the victim was an American missionary who had been living in the country for many years.
Meanwhile, the Prefect of Birni Nkonni Division, Ibrahim Abba Lele, who was quoted by some sources, revealed that the American was abducted near the frontier with Nigeria in a garden within the periphery of Massalata.
This umpteenth abduction rekindles memories of the kidnapping of Jeffery Woodke in October 2016 and is still being held by his jihadist kidnappers. He was abducted in Abalak before being taken to Mali.
Several western hostages remain in the hands of terrorist groups which are still waiting for the payment of huge ransoms before freeing their captives.
This was the case with the kidnapping of French hostage Sophie Petronnin and the Malian opposition leader Soumaila Cisse.