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Monday, 10 January 2011

Timbuktu kidnapping and various less dangerous 2011 itineraries

Brixton, South London yesterday. Viva Global warming!
Well its been a month of respite for me here in Scotland. I'd love to write and say how interesting and adventurous my life has been but in fact its been pretty boring im afraid.

HOWEVER my travel itinerary for the 2 months ahead are Edinburgh, London, Tallinn (Estonia), New York, Venezuala and then to Morocco for my death at the hands of the Marathon Des Sables, so, dear reader, look forward please to some odd and bizarre reflections as well as the usual travel guides and advice for the more adventurous and less politically correct explorer...

I've promised myself this year to also find a way to get to Khazakstan and Mongolia, en route to Japan again which i havent been to for 3 years now and am having katsu curry withdrawal symptoms. After this im likely to be famous/infamous for some reason or another so will look for a quiet spot to settle down and build a little castle with a waterfall and chickens and bees and breed before im 60. Either that or while it away in a prison in Mali.

until then!

ps has anyone been to Timbuktu in Mali recently? Im thinking that its not more than a kick in the arse from Morocco so i thought i might go there if there still isnt this one eyed Al-Queda guy kidnapping every foreigner in sight, as id love to check out these Dogon people, it looks like an amazing part of the world.

The British Embassy says it advises against all travel but maybe if i bring a koran along ill be ok.

However after googling Mali travel, this doesnt look too promising...maybe a tank or a bazooka or an army would be safer.....

'The U.S. Embassy in Bamako issued a warning urging Americans “in the very strongest terms” to avoid travel to the regions of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu, and if present, to “leave immediately” because of the critical risk of kidnapping. The abduction of a long-term resident French citizen in November and the taking of three Spanish aid workers in neighboring Mauritania a few days later confirm the credibility of the threat.'

2 comments:

  1. British Embassy Advice....maybe a trip to Mogadishu will be safer, and at least theres a nice quiet beach.


    Mon Jan 10 16:40:24 GMT 2011

    Sub Saharan Africa
    Mali

    Travel Summary

    * We advise against all travel to the northern provinces of Mali. This includes the provinces of Kidal, Gao, Koulikoro (north of Mourdiah), S├ęgou (north of Niono), Tombouctou (including the city of Tombouctou (Timbuktu)), Mopti, and areas bordering Mauritania east of Nioro in the Kayes province.

    * There is a high threat from terrorism in Mali. Terrorists have been involved in kidnaps in the region and we believe that further attempts are likely. Two hostages have been murdered by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQ-M) after being held for several months in the Malian desert, including a British national.

    * On 8 January 2011, French authorities confirmed that two French nationals kidnapped from Niamey, in Niger, had been killed near the border with Mali.

    * There have been reports of kidnap threats against westerners attending festivals in Mali. You should be aware that the “Festival in the Desert”, planned for January 2011, has previously taken place in an area of northern Mali to which we currently advise against all travel.

    * Travel in Mali can be difficult and conditions are poor for overland travel. You should take all necessary safety precautions, especially outside of main urban areas, have confidence in your security arrangements and maintain a high level of vigilance. See Safety and Security - Terrorism and Safety and Security - Local Travel and our Rally Racing page.

    * We are not aware of any British nationals requiring consular assistance in Mali in the period 01 April 2009 – 31 August 2010. You should register on LOCATE so that we are able to contact you in an emergency. See the General section of this Travel Advice.

    * You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. See the General - Insurance.

    Safety and security

    Safety and Security - Terrorism
    There is a high threat from terrorism. Terrorists have been involved in kidnaps in the region and we believe that further kidnap attacks are likely. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQ-M) operates directly or through criminal gangs who carry out kidnappings on their behalf or pass on their kidnap victims for monetary gain, AQ-M holds hostages in the Malian desert and has murdered two hostages, including a British national. Recent kidnaps in or close to Mali include:

    *

    On 8 January 2011, French authorities confirmed that two French nationals kidnapped from Niamey, in Niger, had been killed near the border with Mali.
    *

    On 5 January 2011 the French Embassy in Bamako was attacked by an individual using explosives and a handgun.
    *
    On 16 September 2010, five French nationals were kidnapped in the town of Arlit in Niger.
    *

    On 26 July 2010 the French government confirmed that French national Michel Germaneau, who was kidnapped on 22 April near Arlit in north-western Niger, had been murdered.
    *

    On 28 December 2009, a group of Saudi Arabian nationals were attacked near the village of Djambala in Niger, close to the Mali border. Four of the group died in this attack.
    * On November 14, 2009, there was an attempted kidnap in Tahoua, Niger, by heavily armed individuals against employees of the American Embassy.
    * A group of European tourists were kidnapped in the area of the Mali-Niger border on 22 January 2009. A British national who was part of this group was later murdered.
    * On 14 December 2008 two Canadian diplomats were kidnapped 25 miles outside of Niamey and held in Mali.

    There have been reports of kidnap threats against westerners attending festivals in Mali. You should be aware that the "Festival in the Desert", planned for January 2011, has previously taken place in an area of northern Mali to which we currently advise against all travel.

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  2. Greetings! Warming here in Vilnius! Roulette is treating me right!

    ReplyDelete