Plea For Help As Al Qaeda Group Holds Dr Ken Elliott - Hope 103.2

Plea For Help As Al Qaeda Group Holds Dr Ken Elliott

Supporters of the abducted Australian surgeon Dr Kenneth Elliott are petitioning the Australian Government to send medical relief to the people of Djibo, in the West African nation of Burkina Faso.

By Clare BruceThursday 11 Feb 2016NewsReading Time: 2 minutes

Supporters of the abducted Australian surgeon Dr Kenneth Elliott are petitioning the Australian Government to send medical relief to the people of Djibo, Burkina Faso, as the wait for his release continues.

Dr Elliott and his wife Jocelyn, originally from Perth, have run a hospital in the West African nation of Burkina Faso for over 40 years, treating some of the poorest people in the Sahel region south of the Sahara Desert. Many of the people they treat have no other access to medical help.

Dr Elliott visiting a Burkinabese woman

Dr Ken Elliott visiting a Burkinabese woman

On Saturday, January 16 – almost a month ago – the couple were kidnapped from their home by a group linked to Al Qaeda. The abduction took place just hours after terror attacks on a hotel and cafe in  Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, in which 30 people were killed.

Thanks to negotiations by the government of Niger with the captors, Jocelyn was freed over the weekend (February 6 to 7), without any conditions or ransom required according to the ABC. However, Dr Kenneth remains in captivity and negotiations continue.

A patient at Dr Ken Elliott's hospital

A patient at Dr Ken Elliott’s hospital. The caption reads: ‘Hospitalised patients begin to despair’. Source: Karen Gall

The community of Djibo, and thousands in the surrounding region, are left without a surgeon. Supporters say that patients waiting for medical treatment have begun to despair, while the community has gathered numerous times, in their hundreds, to rally and call for his release. Such is the Dr Elliott’s impact that people travel from other nations in Africa to see him.

Supporters of Dr Ken Elliott protest for his release

Supporters of Dr Ken Elliott protest for his release. Their sign reads: ‘Je Suis Eliot’ – meaning, ‘I Support Eliot’.

A supporter of the Elliotts, documentary film maker Karen Gall – who is in close contact with the Djibo community and family members of the team working on the Ken’s release – has established an online petition. The petition calls for the Australian Government to send medical relief to the community as they desperately await the return of their doctor. See the petition at change.org.

Community and church leaders in Djibo, Burkina Faso, pray for the release of Australian Dr Ken Elliott

Community and church leaders in Djibo, Burkina Faso, pray for the release of Australian Dr Ken Elliott. Source: Karen Gall

Community leaders in Djibo call for the release of Dr Kenneth Elliott

Community leaders in Djibo call for the release of Dr Kenneth Elliott. Source: Karen Gall