AllAfrica.com………….. Always the sweethearts, al Qaeda has done it again.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim) militants have executed an Algerian customs officer held hostage since June in the Sahara, following an attack that claimed the lives of 11 Algerian police officers at the border between Mali and Algeria.
Algiers refuses to negotiate with groups it describes as terrorists and will not pay ransom.
Nor has there been an official reaction to the 23 August release of two Spanish hostages held by Aqim, although everything indicates that a ransom payment was made.
How Algiers will manage its relationship with its ally Mauritania which has been involved in these transactions is unknown, as is its position vis-à-vis Madrid which may have paid for its hostages’ release.
At July’s African Union summit Algiers campaigned for a legal ban on the payment of ransom to rebel groups and on the release of imprisoned members of armed groups in exchange for the release of hostages.