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Old 15 Oct 2012
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Kidnapping in Dakoro, Niger

Six people were abducted in Dakoro, southern Niger last night.
They were five aid workers and a driver of Niger and Tchadian nationalities.

The abductors who were probably looking for westerners spoke Arab, Tamasheq and Hausa, showing that there is little meaning trying to deduce which group they belong too. One can assume they will be taken to neighbouring Mali but who will pay a ransom?

Niger: six Africains, dont cinq humanitaires, enlevés dans le sud - Flash actualité - Monde - 15/10/2012 - leParisien.fr

A reminder that if you are in Mali north and east of Bamako, in Niger, east Mauretania, northern Nigeria, and northern Burkina be vigilant.

Last edited by Chris Scott; 15 Oct 2012 at 17:43. Reason: Dakoro map link added
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Old 15 Oct 2012
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A few more details here:
Gunmen kidnap five aid workers in Niger | News24

Niger security forces lost track of them 300km south of Agadez. The group was heading north. Sounds like AQIM to me. Aid agencies have earned a reputation for paying ransoms.

Last edited by Richard Washington; 15 Oct 2012 at 18:52.
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Old 15 Oct 2012
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Assuming the facts so far are correct, if they're going to start kidnapping local (non-European) aid workers working for local charities (which can't be that well off) then they're either desperate or about to get very busy.

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One thing about AQIM is that their methods do evolve and there is generally some rationale for what they do.

In this case I suspect the local NGO is either linked to some UN based funding or else is doing something ideologically at odds with AQIM - quite possibly both.

Another possibility is that the captives give AQIM some bargaining power over any Niger based role in the imminent ECOWAS intervention in Mali. As others have noted, best to stay well clear of Mali and Niger for the next few months or more. I wouldn't expect a decisive outcome from the ECOWAS forces. They won't know the desert as well as AQIM now do and their heart will not be in the fight to the same extent.
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