Saturday, February 9, 2013

French Hostages - France Plays Down Report Of Ransom Paid For Niger Hostages - News

PARIS (Reuters) - France blown away an allegation by a U.S. ex-diplomat this this paid for your $17 trillion ransom, inside vain, for your release with some hostages abducted in 2010 out of Niger, a demand that contradicts the actual government's mentioned no-negotiation policy.

The U.S. ambassador to Mali through 2002 for you to 2005, Vicki Huddleston, shared with iTele in a good meet with send out on Friday the fact that ransom paid simply by France took your circuitous road ahead of landing within the fingers with al Qaeda's north African unit AQIM.

"Of course France failed to walk over to the Salafists and state 'Here's a person's 17 million,'" Huddleston stated while in the occupation interview executed on Thursday around Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"The ransoms, for instance most of additional ransoms paid, ended up paid indirectly along with long been inside hands on the Malian authorities then we were looking at flipped over, no less than part of it, to the Salafists."

The a number of French guys have been harnessed by means of AQIM (Al Qaeda around this Islamic Maghreb) originating from a exploration city from the north of Niger on September 16, the new year so are these days believed to be inside northern Mali.

AQIM threatened that will kill the hostages past calendar year if France intervened militarily within Mali and includes commanded a 92 % of thousand euro ransom therefore to their release. It holds a couple different French hostages .

As many as eight French hostages are at present being used through Islamist militants within Africa's Sahel region.

The matter is sensitive inside France, wherever President Francois Hollande with element justified military measures inside Mali in order to keep your north from using them being a launchpad to get panic assaults within Africa and also inside West.

Hollande declined to be able to comment on the particular allegation which often can be occurred under his / her predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy however reiterated which France isn't going to fork out for you to no cost it has the hostages.

"Today . we are seeking contacts but the question regarding financing cannot be raised," he or she stated by carrying out a reports discussion soon after an EU summit throughout Brussels.

In Paris, Foreign Ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot stated Huddleston's assertion seemed to be dependant on "rumours" as well as Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault in a similar fashion refused for you to verify or deny it.

"Concerning our own nationals currently stored because hostages inside Sahel, most of us will need plenty of sang-froid plus a sense of duty because the particular government and the leader has exclusively one objective, that may be to have their freedom," he said.

The now-retired Huddleston said European government authorities paid regarding $89 million between 2004-2011 to protect hostages' freedom.

"Although governing bodies refuse that they're paying ransom, many people are virtually aware that will money offers handed hands, indirectly through diverse financial records as well as the idea results in the particular treasury, i want to say, with Al Qaeda throughout this Islamic Maghreb and allows them to purchase items and recruit," said Huddleston.

From June 2010 that will December 2011, Huddleston was the actual U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary associated with Defence for African Affairs.

Sarkozy's primary involving staff at that time from the hostage-taking, Claude Gueant, was adamant ransoms possessed never already been paid.

"I retain of which France, the actual French state, provides for no reason covered for the freedom involving hostages," Gueant informed iTele. "France by no means paid out a ransom."

A saving operation ordered by way of Hollande continue month in order to cost-free a French hostage kept with Somalia considering core this year ended within failure.

Al-Qaeda-allied Somali militant party al Shabaab after explained they will had wiped out the hostage, Denis Allex.

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