Calamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comWorldAfricaUS Citizen Held Hostage in Africa for 6 Years is Freed

US Citizen Held Hostage in Africa for 6 Years is Freed

African Land Forces Summit - US Hostage in Africa Freed
Jeff Woodke, a US Citizen that was Held Hostage in Africa for 6 Years by a Terrorist Group, has been finally freed. Credit: US Army Africa / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

The Biden administration announced on Monday that Jeff Woodke, a US citizen, had been released after six years as a hostage in Africa. The American aid worker was abducted by militants in West Africa in 2016.

The release of Jeff Woodke after more than six years in captivity has brought great relief and satisfaction to the U.S. government.

White House national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, expressed his gratitude and relief over the release of Woodke in a statement on Twitter. He also acknowledged the assistance of Niger in securing the safe return of the American hostage.

Woodke, who dedicated three decades of his life to humanitarian work in Niger, has been a subject of concern for many who missed and loved him. The U.S. government is thankful to those who have worked tirelessly to secure his freedom, said Jake Sullivan.

Abduction of Jeff Woodke

In October 2016, a group of armed attackers stormed into Jeffery Woodke’s residence in the town of Abalak, Niger, killing his guard and housekeeper, as stated by Niger’s interior ministry in a press release the following day. The armed assailant, abducted Woodke and headed across the desert toward Mali.

Jeffery Woodke had been living in Niger since 1992 and worked for a local NGO called JEMED.

Unclear which terrorist group was involved in the abduction

A senior US administration official, in a briefing for journalists, refrained from identifying the specific terrorist group responsible for the abduction of Jeffery Woodke. Instead, the official pointed out the existence of a number of “intersecting overlapping terrorist networks in that part of West Africa.”

The official further explained that these terrorist networks view kidnapping and hostage-taking as lucrative sources of revenue and support.

However, terror groups affiliated with al Qaeda and ISIS have maintained an active presence in Niger for a considerable period.

The US government did not pay any ransom to the abductors for securing Woodke’s release, the official confirmed. Furthermore, the official clarified that the US did not engage in direct negotiations with any terrorist organization. “It is worth making that clear,” the official emphasized.

The official went on to detail the efforts undertaken by the US, stating that “emerging as our best line of effort among many that we have tried over the years was working to see what a very good and capable and thankfully willing partner in Niger was able to deliver in their own engagement.”

See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Related Posts