Did ransom money from Europe raise Islamist rebels in Mali?

Did ransom money from Europe raise Islamist rebels in Mali?

Gao : Mali | Feb 08, 2013 at 11:27 PM PST
Views: Pending
An Islamist fighter in northern Mali

A former US Ambassador Vicki Huddleston said a huge amount of ransom money that some of the European countries paid to free hostages ended up strengthening the Islamist groups who are now fighting in Mali.

She told BBC news that France paid $17 million to free hostages from a uranium mine in Niger in 2010. She also mentioned that other European countries, including Germany, were part of the ransom deal amounting to nearly $90 million.

According to Huddleston, the hostages kidnapped at the Niger mine in 2010 were released because the kidnappers got cash from European nations in exchange.

"All the European countries who paid ransoms have denied that they paid ransoms and you know perhaps they can deny it because it's gone indirectly through various channels in the Malian government."

France has always denied paying ransom to release the hostages. Although the French intervention in Mali succeeded in dismantling the rebels’ hold over major towns, the French army is struggling to keep up order in the country.

In a first suicide bombing attack since France began its military intervention on Jan. 11, a bomber blew himself at a checkpoint in the Northern town of Gao. A group owing allegiance to al-Qaida claimed the responsibility for the attack. French and Malian troops swiftly recaptured the northern towns of Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal, seized by al-Qaida-allied jihadist fighters last year.

According to reports, army infighting in the capital killed one person and injured at least five people when heavily-armed regular soldiers clashed with elite "Red Beret" paratroopers at their base in the capital Bamako.

The incident of army infighting does not augur well for Mali's future after French forces pull out. France's Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian wants to reduce France's military presence in Mali and hand over the responsibility of guarding Mali to an African contingent.

Presently, around 4,000 French troops, assisted by at least 1,000 Chadian troops, are in control of the northern key Malian towns, and are now moving into the mountains near the Algerian border, where the militants reportedly fled.

Source: BBC / The Guardian

1 of 28
Islamic fighters have controlled northern Mali for five months
Islamic fighters have controlled northern Mali for five months
aymaan30 is based in New Delhi, Delhi, India, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
Report Credibility
  • Clear
  • Share:
  • Share
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear

News Stories

  • Mali rebels 'got French ransom cash'

    A former US ambassador to Mali has told the BBC that France that paid ransom money to free hostages and the funds ended up bolstering Islamist groups it is now fighting. Vicki Huddleston said France paid $17m (£10.75m) to free hostages seized from a...
  • France allegedly paid $17M to rebels

      United Press International
    France paid a $17 million ransom for four of its citizens being held by Islamic militants without winning their freedom, a former U.S. ambassador to Mali said. In an interview Thursday with the French broadcaster iTele, Vicki Huddleston said the...
  • US ambassador claims France payed $17 million in ransom to Islamists

      Russia Today
    French president Francois Hollande has been given a baby camel by government of Mali as token of gratitude for the French military helping rid the north of the country of Islamist rebels. Kidal February 4, 2013 (Reuters / Cheick Diouara) A former US...
  • France Funded Mali Islamists with $17 Million Ransom

      Al Sharq Al Awsat
    However the French government was double-crossed and these French hostages are still being held by Al-Qaeda militants, probably somewhere in northern Mali. Huddleston, who served as US ambassador to Mali between 2002 and 2005, also confirmed that a...
  • France funded Mali...

      Arab News
    France channelled millions of dollars in ransom payments to the Al-Qaeda-linked militants its troops are currently fighting in Mali, according to a former US ambassador in the region. In an interview aired yesterday, Vicki Huddleston said France had...
  • Ex-US envoy: $17M French ransom funded al-Qaida

      SF Gate
    A former U.S. ambassador to Mali has alleged that France paid a $17 million ransom to free hostages seized from a French mining site cash she said ultimately funded the al-Qaida -linked Islamist militants its troops are now fighting. French officials,...



More From Allvoices

Report Your News Got a similar story?
Add it to the network!

Or add related content to this report

Most Commented Reports

Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Use Agreement and Privacy Policy.

© Allvoices, Inc. 2008-2014. All rights reserved. Powered by PulsePoint.