Algeria Vows ‘Painful’ Revenge
By: Mohamed Ben Ahmed Translated from El-Khabar (Algeria).
An informed source has told El-Khabar that Algeria's response to the recent execution of one of its diplomats in the northern town of Gao by the Islamist Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) will be painful. Military and security leaders convened the day before yesterday [Sept. 2] to discuss the appropriate response to be taken. Also, a large part of the responsibility lies with the Ansar Dine al-Din Islamist movement, which allowed the continued detention of the Algerian diplomatic team in Gao.
About This Article
Algeria is promising a "painful" response to the northern Mali Islamist group that reported its execution of an Algerian diplomat last week. Mohamed Ben Ahmed writes that Algiers is setting up specialized teams to eliminate the leaders and forces of the Islamist Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO).Publisher: El-Khabar (Algeria)
Source Says Response to Execution of Touati 'Will Be Painful'; Algeria Decides to Isolate the Azawad Region
Author: Mohamed Ben Ahmed
First Published: September 4, 2012
Posted on: September 4 2012
Translated by: Naria Tanoukhi
Categories : Security Algeria
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika requested Saturday night [Sept. 1] that the crisis cell following up on the case of the abductees — which consists of members from the various security apparatuses and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs — provide detailed information regarding the fate of the Algerian diplomat who had been kidnapped in Gao. He asked them to determine whether the diplomat had actually been executed or was still alive. Mediators working for the Algerian government have started to make contacts to learn the fate of the four remaining members of the diplomatic mission still being held by the group. Our sources said it was unlikely that Algerian vice-consul [Taher Touati] was still alive after the movement announced his killing.
The security services and the army command developed a security plan in anticipation of a possible closure of the border with the Azawad region, prohibiting commercial and civilian traffic headed toward and out of the region. The border between Algeria and the rebel-held region [of Mali], which extends for 1300 kilometers [about 800 miles], was declared a military zone that civilians may not approach for any reason. This comes as part of a procedure aimed at isolating the armed movements that [isolate] the region from the rest of the world and prevent access to supplies. This is especially true given that the most prominent political movement which controls the region — the Ansar Dine movement — did not make any effort to release the hostages held by a militia, and is believed to be allied with the militia.
Security and military leaders are considering responding to MUJAO through qualitative military operations, which aim to eliminate MUJAO leaders and elements and destroy their camps. The president called for an urgent meeting with senior officials from the ministries of defense and foreign affairs, as well as security apparatuses, to discuss the response to Touati’s execution. Algeria has several cards in hand to respond to the movement’s provocation. Those following the security situation in Algeria believe that the execution aims to drag Algeria into the so-called ‘financial swamp’ and seeks to engage the army in useless military conflict. This was the objective behind the provocative terrorist operations that were carried out in Ouargla and Tamanrasset in the past few months.
Our source added that the deal involving the release of the Algerian hostages held in northern Mali was to be implemented a few weeks ago following the release of three members of the diplomatic mission, and the remaining members were supposed to be handed over hours later. But the kidnappers set new conditions, and the Ansar Dine movement refused to continue pressuring the terrorist abductors to release the hostages. Al-Qaeda has requested the release of its religious commander, Abu-Ishaq al-Sufi, who is held by security agencies, and later demanded the release of other senior al-Qaeda leaders who are imprisoned in Algeria. This was seen by military commanders and political officials as evidence of direct support for terrorist groups, and was condemned by Algeria even under the worst circumstances when the state’s integrity was threatened.
Recent events confirm that the Azawad region has fallen under the absolute control of Salafist groups, who have a jihadist ideology no different than that of the Afghan Taliban movement. These groups are responsible for the safety of the Algerian diplomatic mission in Gao, in accordance with international law.
|Back to news list|