Spanish foreign minister: Mali a ‘platform for terrorism’
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo stated Saturday that Spain is evacuating its aid workers from Saharawi refugee camps in the westernmost province of Tindouf, Algeria.
According to Garcia-Margallo, fifteen aid workers left for Madrid on Sunday. Twelve of them are Spanish, two are French and one is Italian.
The evacuation decision comes days after three foreign workers abducted in Algeria last October were released. The Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), one of the Islamist militant groups currently operating in northern Mali, was responsible for the kidnapping. Negotiators who helped free the abducted aid workers told the BBC that the workers were released as part of a prisoner-exchange deal, where two Islamist prisoners held in Mauritania were exchanged for three aid workers.
The Saharwai camps have been hosting Polisario Front refugees fleeing neighbouring Morocco and aid workers from several foreign countries who now fear the lack of security incited by the unstable situation in northern Mali. (...)