Originally Posted by gemmasun
Whats everyone's thought about security travelling through Mauri and Southern Mali in light of this?
Is this a 'reaction' from the rebels in response to the announcements from UN etc... about the ECOWAS forces ...?
At least five key things have changed in the last few months:
1) Other groups are doing kidnapping as well - not just AQIM
2) the 'Sahara' kidnappings are now far south in the Sahel - further south than they have ever been - the last two episodes that is.
3) There are far fewer Europeans in the Sahara to kidnap.
4) UN and ECOWAS keep making daft announcements about when they will invade and how many AQIM should expect
5) The 'safe haven' for the kidnappers is now enormous. Whereas they once had to hot-foot it to NE Mali, now they have all of N Mali. As a result, there capture zone can now extend further south and as we know, this has happened.
All these 5 things ramp up the risk of being kidnapped. There are more kidnapping groups looking for ever fewer Europeans to kidnap. There is the need for the insurgents in N Mali to fund a war (ransoms) and to have human shields. The kidnapping zone is bigger because the safe haven has extended south.
The only thing I can think of which lowers the risk in the next few weeks is that the kidnappers seldom strike in the same place twice. But this rule is based on there being one kidnapping group and that isn't true now.
The chances are you will get through OK. But will it not be quite hard to know who to trust? Will you be able to enjoy yourself? How do you feel about being held for 2 years+ and perhaps not making it back at all?