Niamey 5 days ago
An Austrian woman who lives in Agadez told me: No more Military convoy between Niamey to Agadez, 4 hostages released, peace negotiations between rebels and Government under way. Other hostages remain in captivity, (2 I think), to be released when negotiations go possitively, Went to Gao without problems, but with bad feelings. This is where the Canadian UN Diplomats where abducted in December. You never know when a rivalling fraction strikes, that is just not pleased (bribed enough) with outcome of negotiations (seat in government, or money). So move quickly as spies are ebverywhere.
Sry, cannot comment on situation east or north of Agadez.
Rgds Manfred, in Bamako