Embassy of the United States of America, Niger
For immediate release March 21, 2023
American Citizen Hostage Recovered in Niger
The United States welcomes the release of an American hostage, Jeffery Woodke, who was kidnapped in Niger in 2016. We express our deep gratitude and appreciation to our partners in Niger and other countries who helped secure the release of the hostage. U.S. officials are in contact with him and are providing all appropriate assistance.
The Biden administration has no higher priority than bringing home U.S. nationals held hostage or wrongfully detained, and we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure their freedom around the world.
On March 20, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken released the following statement:
We welcome the release of U.S. citizen Jeffery Woodke, who was held hostage in West Africa for more than six years. I spoke with Jeffery’s family today and am pleased they will be reunited soon. We are grateful for the extraordinary cooperation of the Government of Niger, as well as the sustained efforts of countless organizations and individuals worldwide that resulted in Mr. Woodke’s release. I have no higher priority than bringing home U.S. nationals held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad, and we will continue to work relentlessly to secure their freedom around the world.