Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hostages liberated

  When the US state department  joined their condemnation  to that of the UN and the swelling tide of outrage against  the MNLA's kidnapping  of 30 Malian government hostages taken and held in the government offices in Kidal on Saturday  it would appear that the MNLA realized that their actions had backfired and that for once  they could not count on the implicit support of the French and of the international opinion. The hostage taking  had been a disastrous mis-calculation by the  MNLA, normally so skilled at public relations and of manipulation of the western press.
UN officials in Kidal announced the release of the hostages yesterday afternoon. It is unclear if the government offices are still held by the MNLA.

However the release of the hostages  does not undo the killing in cold blood of six Malian administrators on the 18th of May in Kidal: 2 Préfets and 4 sou-Préfets. The Préfet is the highest local rank of administrator, there is a Préfet of Djenné, for instance. The picture above shows IBK surrounded by Préfets.

The president addressed the Malian nation last night. In his address was a swipe at the UN and the Serval forces, present in great numbes in Kidal: the MNLA had been able to carry out their attack "in an insolent and incomprehensible freedom of movement and manoevre" said IBK.  He continued by drawing parallels between this Kidal massacre to the Aguelhoc massacre of nearly one hundred unarmed Malian soldiers by Touareg separatists in January 2012, an event which can be seen as marking the beginning of the Mali crisis.


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