Following the release of four hostages who had been held captive for three years in the Malian desert, “controversy has flared over the possible payment of a €20m ransom,” writes Libération.
The four men, employed by the French Vinci and Areva groups, were kidnapped in Niger in 2010 by an Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) group whose leader was killed in February in the course of French military intervention in Mali.
In its editorial, the daily notes that —
François Hollande proclaimed that he was unwilling to finance terrorist groups, of which AQIM is one of the most abject. In so doing he ran the risk of being contradicted today. No one can believe that the leaders of AQIM let the French men go in return for nothing.
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