Kidnappings add to Mali woes

2011-11-29 07:44

Dakar - The kidnapping of several Europeans adds to Mali's problems, already grappling with fallout from the Libya crisis after the demise of Muammar Gaddafi, a UN official said here on Monday.

"The recent hostage-taking highlights the fact that the situation can only get worse when weapons are accumulating in a sub-region" like the Sahel which is already battling armed groups, said Said Djinnit, the UN chief's special representative for West Africa, after a meeting of the heads of UN peace missions in the area.

"Countries in the sub-region and the international community are increasingly worried," he said. "I personally think that we must be at Mali's side as it faces this additional burden."

On Friday, an armed gang snatched a Swede, a Dutchman and a man with dual British-South African nationality from a restaurant on Timbuktu's central square and killed a German with them who tried to resist, officials said.

The kidnappings brought to five the number of foreigners taken hostage in Mali in 48 hours, after two French nationals described as a geologist and an engineer were taken from their hotel in Hombori 240km to the south early on Thursday.

On Saturday the Malian government evacuated some 20 tourists from Timbuktu and sent soldiers to join French military in the hunt for the two Frenchmen as the country seeks to mitigate the damage to its tourism industry.

Nothing is known about the kidnappers but investigators suspect they are either members of or close to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb which has held four Frenchmen since 2010 and intensified its activities in Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Algeria.

"We are concerned about the impact of the Libyan crisis on Sahel countries, notably due to the influx of people [of Mali and Niger origin] from Libya" after the fall of Gaddafi, said Djinnit.

Reintegrated

The upheaval in Libya has severely affected the social and economic fabric as well as security, particularly in Niger where up to 130 000 people returned from Libya, after supporting their families by sending money, he added.

These people must now be reintegrated into society, he said.

"For Mali, there is the same problem, but then some" of those returning from Libya "are carrying arms," Djinnit said.

Burkina Faso meanwhile stepped up surveillance at its long border with Mali and Niger, a senior intelligence official in Ouagadougou told AFP on Monday.

"Even if we are not directly threatened we have deployed additional security forces, notably for intelligence purposes," said the official who is often involved in negotiations to free hostages.

He said that as far as Ouagadougou knew, the latest hostages had been taken to northern Mali.

A car said to belong to the kidnappers who abducted the two Frenchmen from Hombori has been found in northern Mali, a local security source said on Sunday.

Read more on:    aqim  |  niger  |  mali  |  west africa  |  abductions
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.