Mali Hostage

Johan Gustafsson, recently freed Swedish hostage visits the McGown family and Gift of the Givers to share information about his and Stephen's captivity.
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A new video has just been released by AQIM in Mali. The video is 16 minutes and 50 seconds and is proof of life for six hostages including South African Stephen McGown. The other five are Elliot Kenneth Arthur of Australia, Iulian Ghergut of Romania, Beatrice Stockly of Switzerland, Gloria Cecilia Narvaez of Colombia and Sophie Petronin of France. The video addresses the six governments but no

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Prayer Request for Hostage Release

Gift of the Givers requests the prayer of all those willing to lend support in securing the release of the two hostages, Stephen McGown and Johan Gustafsson, held in captivity for 5 years today. It's been a tough and a rough ride for the two families. Supplication to the Almighty in whatever belief or universal system we follow is our special request to all humankind. The Gift of the Givers

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Our press release on 24 November 2015 confirmed that we had made contact with Al Qaeda in Mali.  They were holding two hostages, South African, Stephen McGown, and Swede, Johan Gustafsson.  We received a call on Friday, 20 November, and subsequent calls on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, where we were requested to personally collect video footage concerning the two hostages.

Our Mali

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Mali Shooting: An Eye Witness Account

A few minutes ago we received a call from a Gift of the Givers Volunteer who was caught up in the shooting in Mali. This was his communication:

"Hello doctor. This is ....(name not to be announced as yet). Thank you for your interest in our well being. We are fine now. We have been moved to a hotel in the capital Bamako and are under security protection. We haven't been briefed as yet as to what's

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Gift of the Givers has agreed to assist the McGown family in securing Stephen McGown's release.  It is well understood that in situations like these there are no guarantees of success.  It has been a very tough and trying time for the family having waited 3 years and 7 months already since that fateful day of capture on 25 November 2011 in Mali.  A constructive effort has to be made

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Today marks 2000 days in captivity for South African, Stephen McGown, and Swede, Johan Gustafsson, captured by AQIM in Timbuktu, Mali, on 25 November 2011.  How can one appreciate the anguish of two families torn apart by such an enduring challenge: a dying mother hoping to see her son before her last breath, a young wife awaiting union with her husband with hope in her heart, sisters
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Hostages 5th Anniversary in Captivity

The current situation:

1. Our hostage negotiator, Yehia Dicko is in Mali right now.
2. At our request the intermediaries have arranged for letters, biscuits and sweets from the two families to be delivered to the hostages at the present time.  The package was taken from us last week.
3. The captors have mentioned that we would receive a new video soon; the date and place they say will be

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Tomorrow, 25 November 2015, is exactly four years since South African, Stephen McGown, and Swede, Johan Gustafsson, were taken hostage in Mali by Al Qaeda.  Gift of the Givers, at the request of both families, got actively involved in June this year to try to make contact with the captors and find a way forward.  A negotiator of Mali origin, Mohamed Yehia Dicko, was sent to Bamako on 10

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One of the most difficult aspects of hostage negotiations is not knowing with certainty who the captors are, where they are, what they want or how they can be contacted.  Gift of the Givers is sending out a message internationally requesting the captors of Stephen McGown to connect with us so that we can commence the process of negotiations to free Stephen. Three years and seven months is an

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