sábado, 21 de agosto de 2010
Mali resumed negotiations with the Salafi organization
ennahar 21 August, 2010 02:07:00
Malian authorities have resumed negotiations with the terrorist organization Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat in Saharan Sahel region, a few months of break after the successful negotiations that led to the liberation of the French spy Pierre Camatte against the release of four dangerous terrorists who have, less than a month later, executed his compatriot Michael Germaneau.
The extradition from Nouakchott to his country of Omar Sahraoui, a Malian convicted of the kidnapping of three Spaniards in 2009, two of which are still being held by Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), is seen as a gesture that could help free the hostages.
"For AQIM, the fact that Omar is transferred to Mali is a victory. Mauritania has made a gesture. It is very important," says in Mali a source close to case of Spanish hostages, held in northern Mali.
Mauritania has always shown great firmness against AQIM and its relations were considerably strained with Mali after that country freed four terrorists in exchange for the release of the French hostage Pierre Camatte in February,.
If this is not a fighter, Omar Sid Ahmed Ould Hamma, nicknamed "Omar the Sahraoui", however, is linked to AQIM: it is for her that he had kidnapped three Spaniards (Alicia Gamez, 39, Albert Vilalta, 35, and Roque Pascual, 50) in Mauritania on 29 November 2009.
Alicia Games, only woman, was released in March, but her two companions remain in the hands of an AQIM group led by the Algerian Mokhtar Belmokhtar, alias Belawar, who had paid "Sahraoui" to kidnap them.
Less than a week after the confirmation on appeal on August 11 for his conviction in Nouakchott to 12 years in prison and hard labor for the kidnappings as "mercenary" of AQIM, he was put on a plane to Bamako.
He was not handcuffed during the trip and was recovered by Mali security forces, who took him to an unknown destination.
"Where will he serve his sentence? Will he put in jail? Will he work of public utility? Will he put under house arrest? To all these questions, there had been no answer yet," admits a source in the Malian Ministry of Justice.
Married to a woman from Western Sahara, Omar Sahraoui, 52, was foremost a businessman, who knows all countries of the Sahel region he used to walk up and down and where he has forged links with various tribes that comprise it.
"His extradition meets several requirements, including the most important for AQIM is primarily the role of an experienced guide of Omar in this great desert, the chain of relationships built in these different countries," said Ould Isselmou Salihi, editor of Mauritanian Tahalil Hebdo specialist of Islamist organizations.
This expertise of the Sahel presents "incalculable benefits which everyone could enjoy," said Ould Salihi. His extradition "may be significant in the process of liberation of the Spanish," he said.
Abu Al Maali, Mauritanian expert of Islamists issues of the Nouakchott Info daily, stresses the "importance" that the extradition of "The Sahrawi Omar" represents for Belmokhtar.
He can thus "show to mercenaries and smugglers working with him to ensure their protection" and "strengthen his audience among the local tribes with whom he remains closely linked," he says.
If Belmokhtar is considered by experts as one of AQIM money man than as a religious, sources in Mali have recently stated that he was "under pressure" of a radical branch of AQIM headed by another Algerian Abdelhamid Abou Zeid.
The latter, responsible for the deaths of two Western hostages, Briton Edwin Dyer and French Michel Germaneau, Belmokhtar would require the execution of the Spaniards in retaliation for a franco-Mauritanian military raid conducted on July 22 to try to find Germaneau which had killed seven of his men.