Wife of hostage Woodke abducted in Niger appeals to kidnappers

The family of American humanitarian Jeffery Woodke, kidnapped mid-October 2016 in Abalak in the Tahoua region in Niger, is still without news of him.

His wife Els Woodke addressed the kidnappers in a statement (in English) that reached Sahelien.com on Monday July 10.

The declaration comes after the dissemination at the beginning of this month of a video showing six foreign hostages kidnapped in the Sahel. But Jeffery Woodke is not there.

In the video, “the spokesman delivered a very direct message to the families of these hostages (…): If you want a genuine solution for your children, then try to save them yourselves. I am sure the families of these captives are very encouraged by this message and appreciate the mercy of Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam Wal Muslimine in sending this news and instructions from their loved ones. But my husband Jeff is not mentioned in the video, so I did not get the comfort that the other families had. It’s hard for me, for our sons and Jeff’s father, to understand what’s going on”, says Woodke in her message.

And to appeal to the kidnappers: “Please, call me – Jeff can give you the number. Or send me a message by email or whatsapp. But however you do it, tell me about my husband. If you do not have my husband, tell me who does … Thank you again for the compassion you have shown to these other families. Please extend the same to me”.

Before his abduction, Jeffery Woodke ran an NGO in the town of Abalak in the northeast of the capital Niamey. He had been working for more than 29 years in Niger.