Sebastian Chadaud-Pétronin, son of kidnapped aid worker Sophie Pétronin, flew to to the Malian capital of Bamako Tuesday ahead of her possible release. He told FRANCE 24 that the family remains cautious over the news.
Pétronin, who is in her 70s, was set to be freed along with Mali opposition leader Soumaila Cissé in exchange for the release of scores of suspected Islamist insurgents by the Malian authorities, three sources told Reuters on Monday.
Islamist gunmen abducted Pétronin in December 2016, in the northern Malian city of Gao, where she ran a charity for malnourished and orphaned children, while Cissé was abducted in March.
Pétronin’s son, Sebastian Chadaud-Pétronin, flew to Bamako, the capital of the West African nation, ahead of her possible release. Chadaud-Pétronin told FRANCE 24 on Tuesday that it was still too early to celebrate.
“Honestly, I came because I’m afraid she won’t make it all the way to Paris, so I’m trying to get as close to her as possible,” he said. “I’m expecting to find her sick, very weak. I hope she can still see; I don’t think she’s able to stand.”
“I’m not under any illusions but ... I will be overjoyed to get her back,” he added.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)