Stephen McGown, together with Johan Gustafsson, a Swede, was abducted by al-Qaeda in Mali in November 2011.


On Tuesday, Dr. Imtiaz Sooliman, founder of the Gift of the Givers, said four months after having been asked by the family of the kidnapped South African to negotiate his release, they have made contacts with the captors.

The captors have made a video which will be delivered on Friday. “We are making arrangements to fetch the video and wait for instructions how and where to obtain it but we were told that we may have it by Friday,” Sooliman said.

Both the captives are healthy and in good condition, Sooliman quoted the captors as saying.

“There was no mention of any demands and no details of what was on the video,”he said.

The Gift of the Givers revealed that they had to go to various countries like Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, in order to get a person whom they can use as a go-between with the militants.

He said that they approached religious teachers, tribal leaders, government officials, media experts and many people to secure the freedom of the South African.

Sooliman also said “sometimes we would get a call from that connection and sometimes silence for three weeks. This was a test of patience for us and a time of great difficulty for both families who were clutching at anything in the hope that something positive happens.”

The organization stated that it is difficult to read the mood of the captors but they seem to be willing to negotiate even though they have not made any demand as yet.

The Gift of the Givers successfully negotiated the release of a South African, Yolande Korkie from Al Qaeda in Yemen, on January 10, 2014, without paying a ransom.

The organization also secured the release of another South African captive Pierre Korkie who was supposed to be released on December 6, 2014. Unfortunately, Korkie and an American, Luke Somers, died the same morning in a failed rescue attempt by the American military. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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