Al-Qaeda militants liberate South African hostage Gerco van Deventer
It has been reported by a charitable organisation that militant Islamists with ties to al-Qaeda have liberated a South African paramedic who had been held hostage in Libya for more than six years. In a statement, Gift of the Givers stated that it had been instrumental in ensuring Gerco van Deventer’s “unconditional” release.
According to the charity, Van Deventer is the South African hostage who has been kept for the greatest period of time. In 2017, he was taken into custody by an unidentified group in Libya. One year later, he was sold to militant Islamists in Mali, and then he was released “into” Algeria, according to the report.
The sources received confirmation from a security source in Mali that Van Deventer, who was 48 years old, had been released. The release of the paramedic was reported to have occurred on the border between Mali and Algeria, according to a source from the humanitarian sector.
During the time that Mali is fighting an Islamist insurgency and a rebellion by separatist groups in the north, large portions of Libya have been uncontrolled ever since forces supported by NATO ousted and killed Muammar Gaddafi, the long-serving ruler of Libya, in 2011.
This information was provided by Gift of the Givers, a charitable organisation located in South Africa. They stated that Algerian security forces had taken Van Deventer to the hospital for a checkup after he was released.
The next stage in his recovery and the plans to bring him home to be reunited with his wife Shereen and son Asher are both things that we are waiting for. Six torturous years of prayer, patience, and hope have been spent, as stated by the charitable organisation in a message on their Facebook page.
On November 3, 2017, Van Deventer was taken into custody while he was on his way to a power plant building site approximately 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) south of Tripoli, the capital of Libya. Van Deventer was an emergency paramedic who was employed for a corporation that specialises in security.
Approximately seven months after his kidnapping, three Turkish engineers who were also taken captive with him were released, but he continued to be held captive. In March, his family appealed once more for him to be released from custody.
Earlier attempts to release Van Deventer and other captives imprisoned in the Sahel region have been made with the assistance of Gift of the Givers. The charity stated that the al-Qaeda group known as Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin had requested a ransom of three million dollars (or two and a half million pounds) in 2018, and that the organisation had successfully negotiated the figure down to five hundred thousand dollars.
It was noted that the militants finally freed Van Deventer “unconditionally” on Saturday since his family and company were unable to pay the cash that was demanded of them.
As a method of generating revenue, abduction for ransom has been utilised by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and other extremist groups in North and West Africa for a considerable amount of time. In order to combat the terrorists, the military junta in Mali has now hired the notorious Wagner group of Russian mercenaries.