The identity of the American sexagenarian released with the two French hostages and the South Korean, after the French military operation, has not been unveiled. The American media are wondering. The United States thanked France for the release of their national during Friday’s operation in Burkina Faso. But few details leaked about the identity of this hostage whose existence was unknown until then. On the US side, the media is following the hostage case with caution.
The newspapers stick to the meager facts they have on the American citizen released Friday. We do not know his name or his face. Sixty years old according to several American chains, this woman was detained for 28 days with the South Korean hostage also recovered during the French operation.
South Korea said on Monday that the latter was a “tourist” who had been traveling to Africa for “almost a year”. She was abducted while trying to cross the border between Burkina Faso and Benin by car. Were the two women kidnapped together? Seoul seems to suggest it, but Washington has not confirmed anything.
- The presence of the hostages was not known
The US authorities have not disclosed the identity and reasons for the visit to Africa of their national. The State Department has justified this discretion by “concern for confidentiality”. A spokesman simply thanked Paris and offer his condolences to the families of the two French soldiers killed, Cédric Pierrepont and Alain Bertoncello.
The presence of the American and South Korean alongside the two French was unknown before the rescue operation, said the Minister of Armies Florence Parly. The US media confirm that Washington was also unaware. On the ground, however, the French special forces relied on American intelligence. After her release, the sexagenarian was taken care of by Washington directly in Burkina Faso.
In early April, the State Department warned US travelers to travel to Burkina Faso because “terrorist groups continue to prepare attacks and kidnappings.” Despite the surge of violence in the Sahel, the Trump administration plans to reduce its military presence in Africa by about 25% by 2022.