Saturday, June 12, 2010

French Security Adviser Held by Somalia's Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen Pleads for French Government to Secure His Release

Somalia's Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen insurgent group released a video of a French security adviser it is holding prisoner on June 9 via its Al-Kata'ib (Brigades) Media Foundation. The Frenchman, Denis Allex, was captured on July 14, 2009 in the embattled Somali capital, Mogadishu. Allex asks the French people and government to work for his release and he reads off a list of demands from his captors, clearly under pressure from them. These demands include an end to French support for the weak Somali transitional federal government of President Shaykh Sharif Ahmed, removal of foreign advisers and privately-owned mercenary and military contractor businesses, and the release of imprisoned "mujahideen" (warriors of faith) in unidentified countries.

The video is largely a repeat of Harakat al-Shabab's demands for Allex's release that were issued in September. France's foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, has refused the demands and says that his country will continue to support President Ahmed.

An English-subtitled version of the video is embedded below.

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