News24 | A glimpse into the painstaking and protracted negotiations to free Al-Qaeda captive Gerco van Deventer

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Joined: Nov 2016

Gerco and Shereen van Deventer reunited after his return to South Africa.

PHOTO: Supplied by Shereen van Deventer/Netwerk24

It took Mohamed Yehia Dicko six years of painstaking negotiations to secure the unconditional release of Gerco van Deventer from his Al-Qaeda captors – and he is yet to meet Van Deventer.

“I have to meet him. I want to shake his hand and tell him it was a privilege to be a part of his release success story,” Dicko told News24.

Van Deventer, 48, moved from Afghanistan for safer working conditions as a paramedic in Libya, where he was kidnapped in November 2017 and sold to the Al-Qaeda group, Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM), in Mali alongside three Turkish men who were released seven months later.

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