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  #121  
Old 10 Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
...no response from ulrich... which is a great shame....Security advice on prevention/awareness for all travellers would be a great deal more useful rather than rehashed articles already on the web...
It is not Ulrich's responsibility to give security advice to travellers, especially when the situation changes frequently and by region.

There is sufficient information available on this site and elsewhere to make a decision if you are willing to make a decision yourself...I personally would not go--the world is full of interesting places to visit--but I'm sure that others will be fully comfortable...
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  #122  
Old 10 Feb 2010
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Developping news:

Mali rejects al-Qaeda demands
2010-02-09

Mali will not concede to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb's demands to free four jailed terrorists in exchange for French hostage Pierre Camatte, AFP reported on Monday (February 8th), citing security sources in Bamako. Among the 4 prisoners is an Algerian said to be a "high-ranking" AQIM member. Last Friday, al-Qaeda extended the deadline for executing Camatte to February 20th.

In related news, the $5 million ransom demanded by AQIM for three kidnapped aid workers should arrive in Mali from Spain this week, Spanish daily El Mundo reported on Monday. Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's son, Seif al-Islam, will reportedly mediate the exchange.


from: Mali rejects al-Qaeda demands (Magharebia.com)
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  #123  
Old 11 Feb 2010
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Today no more than this:
Quote:
"The five million dollars required by the Maghreb branch of Al Qaeda, to free hostages in Spain, took the road to Mali, according to Spanish newspaper El Mundo. Gaddafi Foundation, headed by the son of Libyan dictator, Saif El Islam, have acted as intermediary for the payment of ransom. The money should be in the hands of terrorists during the week. Three Spanish humanitarian, currently held in the desert of northern Mali, had been removed, Mauritania, November 20 last on the road between Nouadhibou and Nouakchott. Their abduction was claimed by Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
maliweb - Le fils de Kaddafi paye 5 millions de dollars pour la libération de ses otages espagnols au Mali

Gogoonisch - E

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Ulrich
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  #124  
Old 11 Feb 2010
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So while Bouteflika is striving to get a UN ban on ransom payments, Qaddafi is the errand boy delivering the cash.

".. further strained relations between Tripoli and Algiers...According to Algerian newspaper, An Nahar, the Algiers authorities "have been hampered by the intrusion of Tripoli..."

Here's hoping that definitive military action is taken as soon as kidnapping season is over.
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  #125  
Old 11 Feb 2010
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A few minutes of video has recently been reported in northern Mali as "further proof of life" of the Spanish hostages held by Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), said on Thursday from a negotiator of the Malian for their release.
Mali : une video, "nouvelle preuve de vie" des otages espagnols d'Al-Qaeda - Temoust.org

Google Translation

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  #126  
Old 11 Feb 2010
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just speculating

...have been hampered by the intrusion of Tripoli...

You'd think so wouldn't you, but one could say what has the Spanish deal got to do with Algeria? (Other than quite a lot when you consider the provenance of most of AQIM). Was Alg able/prepared to free them in a raid?
And anyway, up till know were we not told by Euro govts "no ransom was ever paid for anything!"?
So assuming €5m is on the way, isn't this the first time a govt [Spanish] has been open about paying up?

Libya was said to have helped catch and hand over 'El Para' to Alg at the end of the 2003 event. (El Para's loyalties and motives have been disputed of course...). Either way, I think Libya loves getting involved in their neighbours' misfortunes. It makes them look important loclly and all helps with their ongoing global rehab (eg: I hear the Dakar Rally may return there next year).

I heard too that a Libyan ship got grabbed off Somali last week. I wonder if they'll deal with that one any differently than anyone else?

Ch

The five million dollars required ... took the road to Mali, according to Spanish newspaper

I wonder if that means literally or is just the way it was translated. I have been told that parts of southwestern Algeria are temporarily closed (as the Gilf seems to be too, though for who knows what reason). If it's related to the €5m in overland transit (from Tam or more likely BBM airports), it suggests a level of co-operation from Alg, contrary to what the An Nahar paper said. Only more speculation...
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  #127  
Old 13 Feb 2010
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No stop of hostage-taking in Mauretania
Quote:
Abduction of two people by gunmen near Oualata

According to informed sources, a young Mauritanian and his driver were kidnapped Friday by gunmen near Achemmim before being released on the Malian border, and their vehicle led by unknown.

According to these sources, the young Sid'Elmoctar Ould Sidama and his driver were found near the survey "scaling Derwich" where he had been caught short by two armed men who lead the force toward the border, where they have released, trimmed taking their 4X4 vehicle.

The two men managed to reach the town of Achemmim, near Oualata.
The trail of the act of banditry remains favored by several sources, including the area where gangs are rampant trafficking of all kinds
ANI - Enlévement de deux personnes par des hommes armés prés de Oualata

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  #128  
Old 13 Feb 2010
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No stop of hostage-taking in Mauretania
Car theft, not a kidnapping for ransom.

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Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
I heard too that a Libyan ship got grabbed off Somali last week. I wonder if they'll deal with that one any differently than anyone else?
Qadaffi may resolve it in his own way and more efficiently than the west.
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  #129  
Old 18 Feb 2010
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The interview with Mourad Medelci daily Le Monde said that the head of French diplomacy is not about to land on Algerian soil.
L'Expression - Kouchner sur la liste noire

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  #130  
Old 18 Feb 2010
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BAMAKO — An ultimatum set by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) for the execution of a French hostage expires Saturday, but Mali authorities remain optimistic that he will be released.
Reuters - Al-Qaeda deadline for French hostage expires Saturday

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  #131  
Old 19 Feb 2010
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The equation is simple: Pierre Camatte will be a free man within hours. Or he remains in detention, before the unequal fate, is human, but visiting her last thoughts of his wife Francine, time goes by, inexorable as the abductor is our host.
maliweb - Chronique du vendredi : J-1 et l’angoisse !

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  #132  
Old 19 Feb 2010
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Extraordinary hearing February 18 on the case of elements of AQIM the court of common III: The four terrorists tried and released

An extraordinary sitting of the Court of First Instance of the town lll opened early yesterday morning, more precisely 6 hours 30 minutes, under the chairmanship of Broulaye Kéïta on the bench with the Crown the Crown Prosecutor Oumar Sogoba. There were the order of the day the trial of four terrorists of the AQIM arrested in April 2009 in possession of firearms and ammunition after a patrol led by the Malian army in the Kidal region. The Tribunal said the defendants guilty of illegal possession of arms and ammunition to nine months imprisonment and ordered the confiscation of weapons and ammunition seized from them. detail: the defendants have already served their sentence, which opens automatically track an outright acquittal. Which should encourage the non-execution of French Pierre Camatte announced for the 20th of this month.
maliweb - Audience extraordinaire du 18 février portant sur l’affaire des éléments de l’AQMI au tribunal de la commune III : Les quatre terroristes jugés puis libérés

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  #133  
Old 19 Feb 2010
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So Kouchner got his way. Good news for mr Camatte.
Seems only the Italian need to be cleared.
That was the good news.

The bad -
If there's no military follow up, the next season will be as bad or likely worse.
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  #134  
Old 20 Feb 2010
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No word about the hostages yet. Italian media seems to presume that the Italian couple will also be released. Perhaps all hostages will be free within a week?
What will happen next? Is kidnapping season over and we can all travel freely for a while?

Mali frees al Qaeda prisoners in hostage swap | World | Reuters

"Mali frees al Qaeda prisoners in hostage swap
Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:49pm GMT Print | Single Page [-] Text [+]
By Tiemoko Diallo

BAMAKO (Reuters) - Mali authorities have released four Islamist prisoners in an apparent deal with al Qaeda's north African wing to save a French hostage, according to a Mali newspaper report.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) had said France and Mali would be "responsible" for the life of Pierre Camatte, who was kidnapped in Mali in November, unless Bamako released the Islamist prisoners by February 20.

A report in Mali's Independant newspaper Friday said a court in Bamako had sentenced the four prisoners -- who were captured by security forces in April -- Thursday morning only to the time they had already served, tantamount to a release."

Last edited by priffe; 20 Feb 2010 at 17:56.
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  #135  
Old 20 Feb 2010
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Quote:
Is kidnapping season over and we can all travel freely for a while?
I don't think so, taking hostages would become an ongoing feature.

Why?

- Protection of themselfes for not being attacked from different armys
- money is always an arguement, also for imitators or free acting groups which sell tourist to the so called Al Qaeda, better, the criminals.

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