Four Frenchmen held by by a North African terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda have now been in captivity for a year, with negotiations stalled as the chaos in Libya continues. On September 16, 2010, seven individuals were abducted by a group known as al-Qaeda Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in a uranium mining town, Arlit, in northern Niger. The seven included a senior employee with the French mining group, Areva, and his wife. The other five, employed by an Areva subcontractor, included three Frenchmen as well as a Togolese and a Malagasy.
COMMENT: On February 24, the woman and the two Africans were released at a desert location where the borders of Niger, Mali and Algeria intersect. Yet, Daniel Larribe, Thierry Dole, Marc Feret and Pierre Legrand are still being held by the group, as their families are demanding a more concrete explanation of what is being done to secure their release.