Mali: 4 prisoners exchanged for French hostage

Paris – The Malian government says it exchanged four prisoners to secure the release of a French hostage held for three years by al-Qaeda’s North African branch.

The liberation of Serge Lazarevic last week revived debate among Western governments over whether to negotiate with hostage-takers.

Mali government spokesman Mahamane Baby said on Sunday that al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb demanded the release of six prisoners “but the government freed only four, including two Malians”.

The French government has not publicly confirmed a prisoner exchange or explained the circumstances of Lazarevic’s release.

France insists it pays no ransoms and does not exchange prisoners, although President Francois Hollande has acknowledged that other countries have done so, “to help us”.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s