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Algeria pushes for zero-tolerance on ransom payments to terrorists

afrol News, 10 November - Algerian authorities are planning to introduce a draft resolution in the UN Security Council to ban the practice of paying ransoms to terrorist groups.

The Algerian terrorist groups have stepped up their kidnapping attempts in recent months, mainly in Kabylie and the Wilaya of Tizi Ouzou. Victims usually hail from wealthy families that can afford to pay steep ransoms, according to local reports.

Analysts had said that the ransom payments to terrorist groups are becoming a very serious security issue, indicating that millions of dollars had been paid to al-Qaeda terrorist groups to secure release of hostages.

Local reports cited Salime Amine saying terrorists are using ransom demands because they are aware that some countries give in to this kind of pressure.

"Faced with measures introduced by the various governments, which make it very difficult and sometimes impossible to transfer money to the terrorists, they have resorted to hostage-taking," he said.

Algeria has also taken its anti-ransom campaign to its African neighbours. Algerian diplomats threw their full support behind a regional meeting in July, in the hopes of encouraging other African countries to adopt a similar position regarding terrorists' demands.

The Minister for Maghreb and African Affairs, Abdelkader Messahel, said that the financing for terrorist activities is largely provided by the money that is collected during ransom demands.

Algeria’s most recent hostage situation occurred on 30 October, when members of al-Qaeda's El Ansar brigade kidnapped a business owner from his workplace in Tigzirt, Tizi Ouzou province.

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