Wednesday, January 16, 2013

OPERATION AL MAURITANI

First attack targeted busload of foreign workers


 
 

(Translated from Jeune Afrique//1/17/2013//0000PST)

SAHARA DESERT--A terrorist attack by jihadists aimed, on the night of Tuesday 15 to Wednesday 16 January, based on the site of gas Amenas in southeast Algeria. The kidnappers holding 41 foreign hostages inside the base. They are surrounded by the Algerian army. A heavily armed Islamist group attacked, Wednesday, January 16, around 5:00 am, the basic site of gas Amenas (southeast), operated by the consortium Sonatrach-BP. The assault was perpetrated by dozens of jihadists arrived unmarked vehicles in the morning.

According to a statement from the Algerian Ministry of the Interior, "the attack initially focused on a bus that left the base Tiguentourine carrying foreigners to the airport Amenas." Algerian and British were killed and six injured in the first attack. According to the Algerian authorities, the terrorist group was then "directed to the base life which he has invested part is taken hostage and an undetermined number of workers, including foreign nationals."

Be included among the expatriate French, Americans, British, Norwegian and Japanese, working for companies including British Petroleum (Great Britain), Statoil (Norway) and Japan Gas Corporation (JGC), partners Sonatrach on Amenas site. The kidnappers, cited by the agency Mauritanian ANI, say, them hold 41 Westerners and did not specify the number of Algerians who could be among the hostages. Some of these terrorists, many Algerians are from the Al-katiba Mouthalimine ("The signatories of the blood"), led by Moktar Belmokhtar, a former lieutenant of AQIM in the Sahel. Scrambled for months with the direction of the terrorist movement, the "Blind" was announced in late November that he launched his own jihadist movement. Its katiba, always claiming Al-Qaeda operates mainly in the north-eastern Mali and southern Algeria.

A member of the commando Amenas has also stated that they had acted from northern Mali. According to the spokesman of the group, this operation, called Al-Mauritani, the name of a deceased veteran, has been carefully prepared in advance. It was initiated in response to Algiers to support ongoing military operation against radical Islamists in northern Mali. Sunday, Algeria announced that French planes allowed to overfly its territory.

On site, the Algerian military surrounded the base. The area is also flown by army helicopters. In the late afternoon, the kidnappers released small groups of Algerian hostages. They are now demanding the release of 100 prisoners Islamists in Algeria before releasing more. They also asked twenty 4x4 with full tanks in order to return to Mali, as well as water supply and food. According to the NNA, captors ensure that any attempt to free the hostages would lead to a "tragic end". Jihadists are also equipped with explosives.

 According to a witness interviewed by Le Figaro, they had "undermined the base." The Algerian Interior Minister Daho Ould Kablia, said Wednesday night that the Algerian authorities "refused any negotiations with the terrorists."

Benjamin Roger (@benja_roger)


MALIJET REPORT: (1/7/2013//1900PST)

50 Vehicles in the Raid

He left the north by Niger Mali at the beginning of the French attack, crossed the Ténéré quickly rebounded and Algeria, along the Libyan border. He came by surprise on a site 1,700 km of its starting point, without ever being detected. Only God can do such a thing in the Sahara. "

The number of pick-up involved in the operation also carries the signature of a great leader of AQIM and not a small local group, as was the case in the removal of Wali Illizi missed it there's a year. Algerian authorities remain silent on the column from the attackers. Six months after the hostage consular staff Gao, and 18 months after the Sahrawi camp in Tindouf, this is definitely spectacular terrorist operation exposed the porous borders, oil facilities insecurity and incompetence services Algerian security.



MOKHTAR: "FRANCE OUT OF MALI!"

Leader of the Veiled Katiba Demands Troops Disengage
(Translated from MaliJet//1/16/2013//1500PST)




ALGIERS--The kidnappers demanded "stop the aggression" in Mali, according to a statement from the brigade AQIM has claimed the attack. Through Mauritania Nouakchott Information Agency, Islamists engaged in blackmail. Brigade asks France to immediately cease its military intervention in Mali, and in return agrees not to take the 41 Western hostages it claims to hold.

The number of hostages is not yet independently confirmed. Norwegian Prime Minister nevertheless confirmed that thirteen of its nationals had been captured. Washington, Dublin and Tokyo have also confirmed the presence of nationals among the hostages. CIS 150 employees Algerian Catering, a company that provides cleaning services and catering, have been banned from leaving the site gas, according to company management.

Uncertainty about the presence of French

The oil giant BP said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon, a security incident was still ongoing Amenas and armed men occupied the site.

In his second statement, the brigade AQIM says it holds seven U.S. citizens so. She adds that she captured the French. President François Hollande said, he does not have certainty on potential national held hostage. He claims to be in constant contact with the Algerian authorities to "do their duty".

ICC WAR CRIMES MALI

"Armed groups terrorized and inflicted suffering on the population..."
 
La procureur de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI), Fatou Bensouda
 
 
 
THE HAGUE, January 16, 2013 (AFP) - The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court
(ICC) opened an investigation Wednesday on alleged war crimes committed
since January 2012 during the conflict in Mali, where about 800 soldiers
French are deployed, said the prosecutor's office.

  "Various armed groups terrorized and inflicted suffering on the
population by a range of `acts` extreme violence at all
stages of the conflict, "said the court prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, a
statement.

  "I came to the conclusion that some of these acts of brutality and
destruction could constitute war crimes under the Statute
Rome ", the founding treaty of the ICC, she added.
French President François Hollande had committed "emergency" the
French forces to stop the spread of Islamist fighters to
the capital Bamako (south) and the army bombed French since January 11
bases and positions of Islamists in the north. soldiers
French have been engaged in close combat Wednesday.
Mali is the theater `s armed rebellion last year, following
`s attack January 17, 2012 the military base in the region of Menaka
Gao, Tuareg rebels from the National Liberation Movement `s Azawad
 
(MNLA), said the prosecutor's office.
Quickly embraced by Islamist groups Ansar Dine (Defenders
Islam `s) and Movement` s uniqueness and Jihad in West Africa `
(Mujao) allies `Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, they enjoyed a coup d`
State `s on 22 March in Bamako to take possession of northern Mali. The MNLA has
then was ousted by the Islamists, who led stonings and mutilations
under ultra-rigid interpretation of sharia.
Ms. Bensouda believes that `there is a reasonable basis to believe that
murders, mutilations, summary executions, looting and
rape constitute war crimes were committed on the territory of
Mali since January 2012.
 
 
In addition, a series of attacks against `" at least nine of the 16 mausoleums
World Heritage of the UNESCO, two of the three great mosques
included on the same list as well as two historical monuments of the city
Timbuktu was deliberately initiated by members belonging to the
Ansar Dine and possibly AQIM, "according to the same source, which
emphasizes that this is a war crime.
The prosecutor's office says `d also have information on
those allegedly responsible.

  However, "the information available to date does not allow this
stage to conclude that `crimes against humanity were committed," he
said the prosecutor's office, which will focus on crimes committed in
three areas north of the country, in a report.

  According to the prosecutor's office, the number of murders peaked
level in January 2012 with the `alleged execution of 70-153 prisoners. of
looting and up to 90 cases of rape or attempted rape were reported
late March, early April "when armed groups took control of the North"
according to the report.

  Crimes committed in the north are attributed to armed groups such as
the MNLA, Ansar Dine Mujao, `AQIM and other militias.
Mali, which had ratified the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the
ICC, in August 2000, was referred to the Court the situation on its territory
"since January 2012." It `s the fifth African country after
`s Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Côte
d'Ivoire to ask the ICC to `investigate crimes committed on its
territory.