A video clip was released on Tuesday of two men held hostage in Mali since 2011, in what was believed to be the first sign in two years that the duo is alive.
Swedish national, Johan Gustafsson, and Stephen McGowan, identified as South African, were kidnapped by suspected Islamist militants in Timbuktu in November 2011 while they were on a motorbike trip.
“I can only plead to the Swedish government that they are giving their help and information and support to my family and that they are doing what they can,” Mr. Gustafsson said in the clip posted online.
Mr. McGowan, who also appeared in the clip, thanked his family for their efforts to secure his release. Both men were bearded and wore traditional bedouin-style clothes.
Messrs. Gustafsson and McGowan last appeared in a video in 2013.
It was not clear when the latest footage was recorded.
It was released by the media wing of the al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) group, which is reportedly holding several foreign nationals hostage.
In April, French troops helped free Dutch national Sjaak Rijke, who was abducted with the two others.
Mali is recovering from a 2012 coup and an Islamist insurgency that was pushed back by French military intervention.
Northern Mali remains tense, and the United Nations maintains a force of 9,000 peacekeepers, including from Sweden.
Sweden’s Foreign Ministry and Swedish police declined to comment on the video footage.
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