US woman petitions President Obama to help recover her abducted daughter

A mother living in the US state of Kentucky has set up an online petition calling on President Obama to help recover her abducted daughter from Mali in West Africa.

Dr Noelle Hunter called on the President to ask recently appointed Secretary of State John Kerry to put diplomatic pressure on the Mali government to encourage the return of her five year-old Muna. Professor Hunter claims Muna was abducted by her father Ibrahim.

Dr Hunter wrote in her petition:

“Maayimuna ‘Muna’ N’Diaye was abducted on Dec. 27, 2011,by her father, Ibrahim N’Diaye. She was taken to impoverished and war-torn Bamako, Mali, West Africa. Muna is a U.S. citizen. Father and daughter are listed in INTERPOL and a Class D felony arrest warrant exists for N’Diaye.”

If the petition attracts 100,000 signatures by March 27, the administration will be obliged to respond, but to date only 1,000 people have signed.

Dr Hunter told website theGrio:

“I realize 100,000 signatures is a daunting figure, but I must try. I have to do everything possible to bring Muna home, and that means reaching out to President Obama.”

She claims her ex-husband Ibraham N’Diaye failed to return Muna after a scheduled visit. The FBI later discovered that the pair had travelled toBamako, the capital of Mali.

He was unwilling, she says, to accept a joint custody ruling following the end of their marriage.

Since the claimed abduction, Dr Hunter has made strenuous efforts to recover her daughter, meeting senior US politicians, including the Ambassador to Mali, Mary Beth Leonard, and persuading the US embassy in Bamako to investigate Muna’s wellbeing and whereabouts. Their enquiries revealed that the girl had started kindergarten and was taking pills to prevent malaria.

Muna has dual Malian andUScitizenship and this has been a complicating factor in efforts to return the child.

Dr Hunter said: “There is nowhere else to go apart from going to the top. I am absolutely relentless in my resolve to bring her home.”

Speaking to Alabama newspaper the Dothan Eagle, she added:

“We know Muna is coming home. It’s the waiting that wears you down and not knowing from one day to the next how she is doing in a country that was under siege from Islamic terrorists miles from where she was . It’s not right. Whatever the antipathy is for the other parent, nothing can justify what has happened to my child.”

Like the great majority of African countries, Mali is not a signatory of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, an international legal agreement which enables the swift return of children abducted by a parent from one participating country into another.

Photo of Bamako by Arensond via Wikipedia

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