Evidence grows that US military helped free Roman Catholic nun in west Africa
The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La. September 2, 2022
(Tribune News Service) — The U.S. military said Thursday that it helped free an American citizen from terrorist kidnappers this week in west Africa, the strongest evidence yet that American armed forces aided the release of an 83-year-old Roman Catholic nun who was abducted there five months ago.
An Africa Command spokesperson did not identify the hostage but said its personnel “facilitated” the release on Monday, the same day that Sister Suellen Tennyson, a Kenner native, was freed.
Mystery surrounds kidnapped Louisiana nun’s release in Africa; U.S. military might have helped
“On the afternoon of August 29, U.S. Africa Command personnel facilitated the safe turnover of an American citizen who had been held hostage by terrorists in a remote area of West Africa,” the spokesperson said in a written statement. “ U.S. Africa Command would like to thank all of our African and international partners who provided excellent cooperation over the months leading up to this recovery, in particular, the government of Niger, who were critical to this effort.”
Tennyson was abducted by gunmen on April 4 at her home in Yalgo, Burkina Faso, where she was serving as a missionary for her order, the Marianites of Holy Cross. On Monday, she was returned to U.S. hands in Niamey, the capital of Niger, about 200 miles east of Yalgo, the order told its members.
Federal agencies remain largely tight-lipped about the details of Tennyson’s release. But a U.S. official told CNN that terrorists released Tennyson to Nigeriens who then turned her over to U.S. officials. A defense official told CBS that the U.S. military sent a vehicle to pick up Tennyson and flew her out of a base in Niger, WWL-TV said.
Sister Ann Lancour, U.S. congregational leader for the Marianites, said Wednesday that money was not exchanged for the nun’s release.
(c)2022 The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.
Visit The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La. at www.theadvocate.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.