Kidnap threats escalate in Sahel
[Magharebia] Instability in the Sahel region
... North Africa's answer to the Pak tribal areas...
is a growing concern for Western governments, who warn their citizens against any unnecessary travel to the region.
"The terrorist groups al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the splinter group, the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, pose the greatest kidnap threat," British Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds said on Thursday (November 8th).
"Since the recent coup in Mali, both groups have increased their operational reach and have proven capability to travel long distances to kidnap victims. They have also been known to use criminal gangs to conduct attacks and pass hostages to them," the minister added.
Simmonds said that attacks had "taken place in Mali, Niger, Mauritania and Algeria", and terror groups have "operational reach into the north of Burkina Faso
...The country in west Africa that they put where Upper Volta used to be. Its capital is Oogadooga, or something like that. Its president is currently Blaise Compaoré, who took office in 1987 and may be in the process of being chased out now...
and southern Libya". He predicted that the situation was "likely to get worse".
The Foreign Office warned citizens and tour operators against travelling to the region.
Last year, two Frenchies were kidnapped from a restaurant in Niamey, Niger, and executed near the border with Mali. Seven French citizens were kidnapped in Niger in September 2010.
Posted by: Fred