Al-Mourabitoune terrorist group on Saturday released a video recording with Romanian hostage Iulian Ghergut, a security guard abducted in northern Burkina Faso on April 4, calling for the authorities to negotiate with the kidnappers for his release.
The video record, which lasts less than a minute, is the first sign of the Romanian hostage since his abduction in April, RFI website informs.
The image reveals 39yo bearded Iulian Ghergut speaking in French.
According to the recording, Ghergut is introducing himself, saying he is detained by al-Mourabitoune in Tambao, northern Burkina Faso. He says the message is recorded on August 18. He addresses to his family, presenting his mother’s and father’s names, asking them to do their best to facilitate his release.
He also addressed Pan African Mineral director, the company he was working for when he was kidnapped, then he addressed the governments in Romania and Burkina Faso. The hostage is imploring them to negotiate with the kidnappers to obtain his releasing as soon as possible.
In retort, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs that the inter-institutional crisis cell is studying the originality of the video recording as a matter of urgency, while confirming the person showing in the record is indeed Romanian citizen Iulian Ghergut.
The crisis cell in Romania consists of the Romanian Foreign Ministry, the Romanian Intelligence Service, the Foreign Intelligence Service, the Romanian Ministry of Defence, the Presidential Administration.
“The crisis cell is studying the authenticity of the video record as a matter of emergency. At the same time, the cell confirms the person appearing in the video record is the Romanian citizen in question. If the veracity of the video is confirmed, we can say the record is reconfirming the information already held by the inter-institutional crisis cell according to which the Romanian citizen is alive and in good health condition,” MAE says.
“The crisis cell will continue its effort, through its composing institutions, to release the Romanian citizen. Thus, the inter-institutional crisis cell, summoned, 2015 by MAE on April 4, 2015, is working permanently to manage the situation. Together with MAE, which is acting on all available diplomatic channels and managing the communication activity, the Romanian authorities responsible on national security (SIE, SRI, MApN) are struggling for the Romanian citizen’s release. Each institution is acting with their particular action methods, according to their capacities,” the press release also reads.
Iulian Ghergut, responsible for the security of the manganese mine in Tambao, located in Oudalan region, near the border with Mali and Niger, was kidnapped by five armed persons on April 4. The kidnappers attacked a patrol convoy. A gendarme and a driver were injured in the attack nearby the mine exploited by Pan African Minerals, a branch of Timis Corporation, owned by Romanian businessman Frank Timis.
We’ll come back with further details.