On Tuesday the International Criminal Court in The Hague sentenced Malian rebel leader Ahman al-Faqi al-Mahdi to nine years in prison for the destruction of cultural heritage in Timbuktu. The rebel leader confessed
"As everyone will understand, I am overjoyed to be free again after more than three years and I eagerly look forward to the reunion with my family, friends and colleagues." Sjaak Rijke says in a statement released via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NOS reports.
Sjaak Rijke, held hostage by an Al-Qaida faction for three and a half years, was reunited with his wife on Wednesday at the Bamako airport in Mali. "They shouted for joy," Dutch ambassador Maarten Brouwer told RTL.
Dutchman Sjaak Rijke, who has been a captive of terrorist group Al-Qaida since November 2011, has been freed by commandos and other special forces of the French army in Mali this morning, the French Ministry of Defense announced this morning.