A Colombian nun, who was kidnapped in 2017 by militants in Mali, was freed on Saturday.

Gloria Cecilia Narvaez was kidnapped by an al Qaeda-linked group called the Macina Liberation Front in February 2017 near the border with Burkina Faso.

She was freed after petitions for help from France, said Colombia’s Vice President and Foreign Minister Marta Lucia Ramirez.

Narvaez was seen smiling as she met with Mali’s interim President Assimi Goïta shortly after her release.

Kidnapping has been a lucrative source of cash for groups in West Africa’s Sahel region, where they are waging war against national armies, French forces and UN peacekeepers.

The presidency did not say whether any ransom had been paid for Narvaez’s release.