A French citizen has been kidnapped in Mali, in West Africa. The country’s President Francois Hollande confirmed the details earlier today during a meeting in Paris.
The president was deposed in a coup by Islamist rebels linked to al-Qaeda in the capital seven months ago. They took control of the North of the country after that and ever since Western leaders have been helping African nations decide on the best course of action to stop the vast desert becoming a training ground for militants. 3,300 troops are going to be deployed in a bid to recapture the area.
Armed men reportedly took a 61-year-old man hostage last night near the border with Mauritania. Today at a press conference with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, Francoise Hollande gave more details
"I confirm that a French national has been kidnapped in the southwest of Mali - that means not in the part where there was the most danger. Nonetheless, we have to find our citizen, and I already warned all those who could be in the region, I mean the region in general, to take all necessary precautions. Because to be specific, a military intervention is in preparation. So for terrorists, to capture a hostage is means of putting pressure, means that won't work."
The French Foreign Minister has since repeated a warning to French not to travel to the region and said their country is doing its utmost to free the latest hostage.
Written and presented by Marverine Cole.