There was a time when it wasn't that difficult to understand (and sometimes even anticipate) what was going on with regards to the AQIM related kidnapping in the Sahara. The last two or three months has seen such a change in the balance of power and opportunity in the Sahara that it is now much more difficult to read the situation.
One thing which is in the favour of independent Saharan travellers at the moment is that AQIM must be pretty busy with business in Mali now. Whereas they once enjoyed a 'simple' and lucrative life of kidnapping, drug running and banditry, now days they have much more at stake - including the possibility of running, in effect, a new state. Their human resources will be stretched thin as a result. Perhaps we could be as optimisitc as to suggest that it is a little safer eslewhere - notably in Algeria and Mauri?
Last edited by Richard Washington; 19 Jul 2012 at 19:20.