After an almost three year ordeal, 7 year old Muna N’ Diaye has finally been reunited with her mother, Dr. Noelle Hunter in Morehead, Kentucky.
“I feel whole again”, said Dr. Hunter. “For nearly three years, a par of me was gone.”
She was abducted in December 2011 by her father, Ibrahim N’ Diaye and taken to his native country of Bamako, Mali, West Africa. It followed a bitter divorce battle which resulted in both parents being awarded joint custody.
N’ Diaye smuggled Muna out of the country during scheduled days with his daughter.
A warrant was issued for Ibrahim’s arrest, but he continued to flout the law and for 18 months refused to allow his ex-wife to have contact with his daughter.
Still, Dr. Hunter never gave up hope and proceeded to spearhead a high profile campaign to secure her daughter’s safe return. Her efforts included working on online petitions, meeting with government officials and traveling to Washington, DC and the Republic of Mali.
Then, last year Hunter was forced to make an impromptu trip to Mali upon receiving correspondence stating that her ex-husband had filed for sole custody of their daughter in a local court. The Mali court ruled in her favor both times, but her husband didn’t comply with the hearings and appealed, further delaying the process.
This month, Hunter returned to Mali after hearing that the courts had rejected her husband’s appeal. Last Thursday, she met with the Minister of Justice for Mali, who said the case was resolved. They left for home the same day.
Hunter still fears her husband may try to fight the ruling or retaliate in some way, but for now she is more than content having her little girl back home. Muna speaks three languages (English, French and Bambara), but is unable to read or write in English; Hunter will focus her efforts on not only helping her adjust to being back in the states, but to catching her up academically.
We hope that this is the end of the back and forth for this little girl.
Read more about it here.