«

»

Feb
20

Travel Alert: Africa

This latest in what I see as a trend has got me thinking again that heading to Africa with family in tow is probably not the best idea right now.

Not what you want to see

Not what you want to see

Yesterday, seven French tourists, including four children, were kidnapped in northern Cameroon on Tuesday, the second large-scale hostage-taking in the region in four days. The French president and foreign minister pointed the finger at Islamist terrorist groups operating across the border in northeast Nigeria, possibly including the deadly Boko Haram organization.

More and more, there’s going to be trouble for westerners in this area because of the Islamic take over of northern Mali and France’s reaction to it.

At the moment there are about 15 French citizens being held captive in West Africa.

7-french-people-kidnapped-in-cameroon

7-french-people-kidnapped-in-cameroon

The seven kidnapped on Tuesday are all members of the same family. They camped on Monday night in Waza National Park in the far north of Cameroon and set out early Tuesday for the animal reserve of Kalamaloue, where they were going to view elephants, a Cameroon park official said. A security official said the group was seized then taken across the Nigerian border into a region where Boko Haram has its base.

This is not new in the area. Over the past four years, the region has faced dozens of assaults by the terrorist group, including bombings, ambushes and other attacks on civilians and security forces. While the Nigerian security forces have tried to fight back,  they haven’t been that successful.

BokoHaram-leaders

BokoHaram-leaders

Boko Haram’s campaign of violence against the Nigerian security forces — by some estimates claiming 800 lives last year — had not previously included kidnappings. But they have increasingly become a regular tactic of a breakaway group, Ansaru. They just kidnapped seven foreigners from a Lebanese construction company’s compound in northern Nigeria on Saturday night. The attackers used dynamite on a protective wall, killed a security guard and took over the compound, taking away an Italian, a Greek, an Englishman, three Lebanese and a Filipino. The group said the kidnapping was a response to the French intervention in Mali.

boko haram bombing

boko haram bombing

The fighting between French and Islamist forces in northeastern Mali is going strong, which is why perhaps we are hearing so little from them with regards to the safety of foreigners there.

Cameroon’s information minister, Issa Tchiroma Bakary even declined to confirm to reporters that the family had been seized at all and would not respond later to phone calls seeking comment

Algeria Kidnapping

Algeria Kidnapping

However, it is strongly cautioned that all foreign personal working for companies in either country to exercise extreme caution and not to take any risks, especially with their small children.

Kidnappings in northern Nigeria, Niger and Mali, particularly of French nationals, have become increasingly common in recent years as obtaining ransoms for Europeans has become big business.

Seven French nationals are being held in Mali by the Al Qaeda affiliate in the region, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, after being captured in the last two years in Mali or Niger.

In some cases criminals kidnap foreigners and sell them to the Al Qaeda.

stay away

stay away

It warned that the captives would be killed if any rescue effort was launched. But it made no demand for a ransom.

Ansaru have already killed two captives — Chris McManus of Britain and Franco Lamolinara of Italy — in northern Nigeria in March as Nigerian security forces backed by British special forces mounted an unsuccessful rescue.

Ansaru is also believed to be responsible for the kidnapping of a French engineer for French wind farm company Vergnet, in December in Nigeria’s Katsina state.

French troops have driven Islamist militias from northern cities and towns in Mali in recent weeks. They now face a more difficult job in crushing the militias, with the Islamists hiding out in northern Mali and launching guerrilla attacks.

french troops in mali

french troops in mali

The wise choice is to stay out of this region. If you are working there, do not venture out of secure areas.

Do you like being the first to know?

If you enjoy always getting the best tips, deals and insider news before everyone else then make sure to visit www.fareboom.com and follow us on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

Be sure to check the https://www.majesticpapers.com/ requirements of the state where you hope to practice

Flights - Hotels - Vacations - Cars - Cruises - Last Minute - Travel Guides - Airport Guides - City Guides

© 2002-2011 Best Travel Store All Rights Reserved.