The General Curia of the White Fathers in Rome confirms that Father Hans-Joachim Lohre disappeared on Sunday and might have been kidnapped my local Islamist groups.
By Vatican News staff reporter
Police in Mali are inquiring into the disappearance of a German missionary who has been allegedly abducted by a jihadist group in the capital Bamako.
Father Hans-Joachim Lohre
Father Hans-Joachim Lohre, 65, of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa, known as “White Fathers”, disappeared on Sunday as he was preparing to go and celebrate Mass in another part of the city, the internal newspaper of the Missionaries of Africa reported on Monday.
The news was confirmed today to Fides Agency by the General Curia of the White Fathers in Rome.
Father Hans-Joachim has been in Mali for more than 30 years. He presently teaches at the Institute of Islamic-Christian Training in Bamako and is the head of the Faith and Encounter Center of Hamdallaye.
No claim of responsibility for the kidnapping
His car was found near the institute and investigators later found the chain with the priest’s broken cross next to his car. “The door was open and there were footprints on the ground as if someone had resisted”, said a colleague of Ific.
There has been no claim of responsibility for his kidnapping, though suspicion has immediately fallen on Islamic groups linked to both Al Qaeda and ISIS, who have a history of abducting foreigners, including religious, and holding them for ransom.
Islamist groups operating in Mali suspected
Father Hans-Joachi’s abduction would mark the first time that Islamic militants have abducted a foreigner in the capital of Bamako since their insurgency began more than a decade ago.
The missionary’s nationality may have attracted the interest of some groups operating in the country.
Germany is one of the few European countries to still have its own military in the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) after the withdrawal of France, while Great Britain also wants to follow suit. Berlin is also considering ending the mission, for which the German parliament has given a mandate until May 2023.
In October last year a Colombian missionary nun Sister Gloria Cecilia Narváez, was released after been held hostage by Islamist group for over four years
Source: Vatican News