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  #1  
Old 21 Nov 2012
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Kidnapping Diema Mali

A french speaking european was kidnapped last night in Diema, Mali, which is on the regular route going to Bamako from Mauretania.
South of Ayoun l'Atrous. Enough west to make travellers uncomfortable - this is in Kayes region.

AFP: European kidnapped in western Mali: security

Last edited by Chris Scott; 21 Nov 2012 at 17:26. Reason: added Diema map link
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  #2  
Old 21 Nov 2012
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From the AFP report:

A Malian security source has identified the latest kidnapping victim as Jules Berto Rodriguez Leal, a 61-year-old Portuguese-born French citizen.
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  #3  
Old 21 Nov 2012
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Very bad news again. Does anybody know if he was a resident/traveller/development aid worker/etc.? This indeed makes this traveller - plan to be there in about 3 months - uncomfortable.
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  #4  
Old 22 Nov 2012
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More news here. Claimed by MUJAO.

It says he was driving in over the border from Mori which suggests he may not be an aid worker. Some say it may have happened in Nioro or Kayes, but the latter may be confusion with the surrounding province of Kayes, not the actual town to the west.

Either way he was on a main overland route and probably spotted in Mori.

Ch
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  #5  
Old 22 Nov 2012
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I hear he was travelling alone and was kidnapped in the evening in Nioro, which is the malian border town. Kayes region, but far from city of Kayes.
I suggest he was spotted in Ayoun and they then prepared the attack.
A few years ago an Italian and his Burkina wife were kidnapped near Koubeni, south of Ayoun el Atrous. Also in the evening.
Bottom line - la Route d'Espoir isn't safe. Bad things more likely to happen as you come near the Malian border, and then no real security until you reach Bko.
One recruiting center for jihadists has been Boutilimit, which is actually on the road only some 170 kms east Nkt.
If you are going east from Nouakchott stay alert all the way to Bamako. Don't move around after dark. Check in with the military before nightfall. Don't hang around unnecessarily.

A better route would be going south from Nkt to Rosso and then east along the border river to Bogue-Kaedi-Selibaby. But there the tarmac ends and there is a sandy piste to Kayes. Alternative route is through Senegal. But going east from Kayes you will pass through Diema. Perhaps better go south and then east through the bush.

This kidnapping was according to a spokesman a conscious expansion west.
As there have been people kidnapped as far away as Tunisia before who ended up in Mali, it could happen in Senegal, Burkina or elsewhere too - don't you think? Only a matter of time, if nothing is done to stop it.
And now they say it will take a year to get started with the intervention.
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  #6  
Old 22 Nov 2012
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Quote:
And now they say it will take a year to get started with the intervention.
Transparency is all very well - or maybe it's a cunning political gambit - but you do wonder if that was such a great announcement for the UN make so boldly. Could be a coincidence, but within a day someone gets grabbed...

With the state of Syria, Libya, north Niger and now west Mali for the next few months, overland trans-Africa routes are getting funnelled through Senegal with all the well known aggro/expense at Rosso river crossing.
But at least you'd hope getting spotted/tracked in Senegal is less likely than in southern Mori, plus there is now (I believe) a sealed road from Kayes east via Kita to Bamako (south of the railway).

Ch
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  #7  
Old 22 Nov 2012
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French man kidnapped in southwest Mali - Africa - Al Jazeera English
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  #8  
Old 22 Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by priffe View Post
...
A better route would be going south from Nkt to Rosso and then east along the border river to Bogue-Kaedi-Selibaby. But there the tarmac ends and there is a sandy piste to Kayes. .....

Last January no problem

mauritania - mali

http://www.espirito-defender.com/gpx-120122.jpg

http://www.espirito-defender.com/GPX-120123.jpg

http://www.espirito-defender.com/GPX-120123-p1.jpg


mali-mauritania

http://www.espirito-defender.com/gpx-120130.jpg

http://www.espirito-defender.com/gpx-120131-2.jpg

http://www.espirito-defender.com/gpx-120131-1.jpg
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  #9  
Old 22 Nov 2012
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Awful news

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 ...?

We are in Western Sahara right now - just planning to ride through Mauri on the outbound journey but were planning to travel through south Mali/southern Mauri on the Kiffa/Kayes piste on our return early next year. Now not so sure about Mali.

The British FO is even warning about the road from Western Sahara through to Nouakchott.

Awful stuff like this really does make you think.

Gemma
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  #10  
Old 23 Nov 2012
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Thanks ABarros, nice tracks.
Yeh, no fun being kidnapped.
In view of the upcoming intervention the beards will be looking not only for ransom but also for human shields.
FO will issue warnings for larger parts of WA if this goes on.

Going Kiffa - Kayes would be nice but I remember last year there were some arrests in Kiffa
Mauritania: Terror Grips Town Eurasia Review
The kind of incident that makes you see things differently when you drive through.
Also shows the moors are on the job, very different from Mali then.
There is a presence of jihadists in many Mauri cities, as Saudi built mosques are spreding the message of wahhabism.
I would prefer Selibaby-Melgue to Kiffa-Kankossa. Kayes and south Mali has never been a problem, but I suppose that could change.
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  #11  
Old 23 Nov 2012
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The British FO is even warning about the road from Western Sahara through to Nouakchott.
Hi Gemma, if you mean the road from the border/Nouadhibou to the capital then as far as I know the FCO has been down on this road since the Spanish got grabbed off it three years ago. And that's despite the fact that we read there are several checkpoints along it now. So nothing new there.

Route d'Espoir not the same (though I suppose you could get spotted anywhere in Mori). Get off it asap if heading direct to Mali, or better still go via Senegal and then Kita.

Ch
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  #12  
Old 23 Nov 2012
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Originally Posted by gemmasun View Post
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 ...?

Gemma
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?
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  #13  
Old 23 Nov 2012
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It could also inspire local criminals anywhere as there are rumours of a reward of €20-30000 per head for a desireable nationality.
Btw your government released Abu Qatada - the man whose release could have spared Edwin Dyer's life some years ago - what's up with that? Looking for a swap to release the Brit/SA man, and possibly the Dutch and Swede who were kidnapped with him in TB2 a year ago?
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  #14  
Old 30 Nov 2012
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Says he was grabbbed in Diema, not Nioro. He was travelling alone from Mauretania in a motorhome.

Nord Mali: Première apparition de l'otage français Rodriguez dans une vidéo du MUJAO - YouTube
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  #15  
Old 1 Dec 2012
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Road to Bamako

Hi, my friends just traveled the road to Bamako this week. They entered Mali from Mauri through Selibabi (they wanted to avoid the greedy customs officers in Nioro) just a day after the hostage taking. They had army escort from the border to Kayes, which they payed 60 000 f cfa (if i'm not wrong) and then an imposed police escort from Kayes to Bko. They argued a lot with a police so they didn't pay anything - they say it was a long and painful experience. When they were on the road, they saw 2 European passing in their cars without escort. They saw the camper of kidnapped French guy in Diema - they say everything happened in the center of the town, around 10 in the evening.
We passed the road (NKCH - Bobo in BF) one month ago and it was normal, just the customs man in Nioro are starting to complicate with a laisser - passer, but in the end it's just about money: after long negotiations we had to pay 15 000 f CFA for just a personal car.
Bye for now
tito
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