Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Ferguson and race relations in the US

Read more

DEBATE

Hollande and Africa: French President Speaks to France 24

Read more

FOCUS

Thiaroye: a dark chapter in France and Senegal's common history

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

The 'Stagnation Trap', with Catherine Mann, Chief Economist at OECD

Read more

ENCORE!

'An American in Paris', a truly transatlantic collaboration

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Oil prices 'could fall further' without OPEC output cut

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

How not to argue over Thanksgiving dinner

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Just how green is François Hollande?

Read more

WEB NEWS

USA: African Americans call for boycott of 'Black Friday'

Read more

Africa

Sarkozy meets released French hostage in Mali

Video by Oliver FARRY

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-02-25

French President Nicolas Sarkozy met with released French hostage Pierre Camatte (pictured) in the Malian capital of Bamako early Thursday following Camatte’s release in a prisoner swap with al Qaeda's North African branch.

REUTERS - French aid worker Pierre Camatte, who was released from captivity by North African al Qaeda militants this week, met President of France Nicolas Sarkozy in Malian capital Bamako on Thursday.

"I thank my friend the president of Mali (Amadou Toumani Toure) for all he has done for the liberation of Pierre Camatte," Sarkozy told journalists in Mali's presidential palace.

Camatte, released on Tuesday, was brought to Bamako by Mali's security forces a day later. He was due to fly to Paris after the news conference, while Sarkozy left for Rwanda.

"I say to the people of Mali, that in your fight against al Qaeda, against terrorists, against assassins, that France ... is determinedly by your side," Sarkozy said.

Sarkozy, who was accompanied by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, said France was committed to fighting al Qaeda in the Sahel region, which straddles black and Arab Africa. "I'm thinking particularly of Mauritania and Algeria," he said.

During a visit to Gabon on Wednesday, Sarkozy drew attention to what analysts say is a growing problem in a vast, inhospitable desert region in North and West Africa which is extremely difficult to police.

"I don't want to forget that there are still other hostages in the area, Spaniards and Italians, who are being held by these terrorist groups that are rampant in the Sahel," he said there.

"All states that are able to do so have to work towards obtaining their release," he added.

Camatte was taken hostage by al Qaeda's north African wing in Mali in November. His release came after Mali freed four Islamist prisoners that al Qaeda had demanded released by Feb. 22 to ensure Camatte was not executed.

The prisoner swap has angered Algeria and Mauritania, two countries where al Qaeda cells also operate.

Date created : 2010-02-25

  • MALI

    Sarkozy heads to Bamako to meet with freed French hostage

    Read more

  • MALI

    Militants in hostage swap deal freed after serving sentence

    Read more

  • MALI

    North African al Qaeda demands ransom for French hostage

    Read more

COMMENT(S)