RealNews

Sahara Kidnappers Prepared to Negotiate Directly

Algerian Islamic rebels who are holding 14 Europeans hostage in Mali are reportedly ready to negotiate directly with the German or Malian governments. With the hostage takers preferring direct links to either German or Malian officials, the current mediator would no longer be involved in negotiations to free the Europeans, according to German broadcaster ARD. The station’s correspondent in the Bamako, Mali said he had received the information from an “important” Malian politician with good contacts to the north of the country, where the nine Germans, four Swiss and one Dutch national are being held. The German government had entrusted a respected Tuareg nomad with negotiations to free the hostages, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported on Tuesday. The paper said Tuareg leader Iyad Ag Agaly was already on his way to the kidnappers hideout in northern Mali. The German Foreign Ministry was unwilling to confirm the report. Full Story

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