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Cablegate: Niger: Update On French Hostages

VZCZCXRO3627
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHNM #0629 1780729
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 260729Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4390
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0698
RUZEHAA/CDR USEUCOM INTEL VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS NIAMEY 000629

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER ASEC MOPS FR NG
SUBJECT: NIGER: UPDATE ON FRENCH HOSTAGES

REF: (A) NIAMEY 625 (B) NIAMEY 616 (C) NIAMEY 572

1. (U) The MNJ reports on its website that it has turned the
four French uranium workers (refs A and B) over to the ICRC,
along with a message addressed to the French government and
AREVA. It says that Nigerien Armed Forces (FAN) MI-24
helicopters bombed the villages of Tadek (just north of
Iferouane) and Tchintouloust (about 100 kms south of
Iferouane, off the Iferouane-Agadez road). The Algerian
paper Al Watan also reports that helicopters bombed Tadek and
Tin Telous (probably a variant of Tchintouloust). (FYI:
Rhissa Ag Boula, the leader of the Tuareg rebellion in the
early 1990s and war commissar of the recently created Front
des Forces de Redressement (ref C) has a house in
Tchintouloust/Tin Telous.)

2. (SBU) The French DCM confirmed the morning of June 26 that
the hostages were in the hands of the ICRC and on their way
to Agadez. He expected them to arrive in Agadez later in the
day. He said the reports of helicopter attacks were
plausible, but the details were sketchy. One June 25 the
French Ambassador said that senior FAN officers denied
bombing MNJ position, but he said that "something had
happened." He said his Embassy was in telephone contact with
the hostages.
ALLEN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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