Al-Qaeda Branch In Mali Suspends Negotiations Involving Romanian Hostage

The Malian affiliate of terrorist organization Al-Qaeda announced on Wednesday that it will suspend negotiations for releasing five hostages, including a Romanian citizen abducted in Burkina Faso in 2015.

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Al-Qaeda Branch In Mali Suspends Negotiations Involving Romanian Hostage

The organization issued a statement on Wednesday in which it announces the names and nationalities of the five hostages it is currently holding – Iulian G. (Romania), Jocelyn E. (Australia), Beatrice S. (Switzerland), Gloria Cecilia N.A. (Colombia) and Sophie P. (France), but also warned that negotiations for releasing them were suspended, according to the Al-Akhbar and EFE news agencies.

The terrorist group conveyed that it will cease “any type of communication” regarding the hostages indefinitely. It also accused the French Government of being “directly responsible” for delaying the negotiations, with the governments of the hostages’ countries also holding part of the blame, according to the aforementioned sources.

The group, named Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin, was formed in 2017 following the fusion of several terrorist groups in Mali and neighboring countries, and is considered to be the affiliate of Al-Qaeda in the country.

The Romanian hostage was abducted by one of the groups, Al Mourabitoune, in Burkina Faso, in 2015. Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu said in August that the situation was complicated, as the group demands a cash ransom, while Romania has a no-negotiation policy with terrorists, but that authorities in Bucharest are maintaining contact with those in Burkina Faso on the subject.

 

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