Published: Tue, May 29, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Mamoudou Gassama: Mali 'Spiderman' to be made French citizen

Mamoudou Gassama: Mali 'Spiderman' to be made French citizen

"It is only right that the nation be grateful", Macron told him. CNN affiliate BFM TV reports that French president Emmanuel Macron has invited him to the Elysée Palace on Monday to thank him personally.

Gassama has been living illegally in France and working in construction after arriving in the country in September previous year following a perilous journey from his homeland to Libya then Italy.

The special treatment for Gassama comes as authorities prepare to evacuate some 2,400 migrants from makeshift encampments in the French capital.

Malian "Spiderman" rescues child in Paris, France. "You need courage and the capability to do that", Macron told the man, according to the Associated Press.

He said that when he reached the apartment, he became scared and started shaking. However, upon arrival, the firefighters have found that Gassama had already saved the young boys life.

Lassana Bathily helped hide hostages in the freezer during a jihadist attack on a Jewish supermarket in Paris, in which four people were killed.

Across the political class, Gassama received plaudits.

22-year-old Mamoudou Gassama, who was granted French citizenship due to his heroics but who at the time was in the country illegally, saw a crowd gathering in the street below, and realized the danger that the child was in.

Passers-by raised the alarm Saturday on noticing the little boy hanging in mid-air.

Praising Gassama, government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux tweeted: "This incredibly fearless act, which is true to the values of solidarity of our Republic, must open the doors of our national community to him".

The boy had left Réunion, where his mother and grandmother live, about three weeks ago and moved to Paris to join his father, who was working there. His mother was overseas.

Mr Gassama, who arrived in France from Mali as an illegal immigrant, is set to have his application for residency approved and fast-tracked by Mr Macron.

His home, which he shares with relatives, is a cramped 15-square-metre room in a migrant workers' hostel, with a mattress on the floor for a bed.

Macron, who had been criticised by left-wing voters for taking a tougher stance on immigration since his election, may also have sought to send a message to Socialist voters by signalling a more welcoming attitude to a deserving migrant.

He said that the boy was crying when he hauled him to safety and had also suffered an injured foot.

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