Mali wants co-ordinated effort against terrorism: Kouchner

27th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Mali wants to boost co-ordination in operations against Al-Qaeda in northern Africa, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said after meeting his counterpart Tuesday on a visit to the region.

Kouchner is touring countries in the Sahel to discuss security with leaders and diplomats there after Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) militants killed 78-year-old French hostage Michel Germaneau.

"President Amadou Toumani Toure, quite rightly, believes that (military) operations, must be co-ordinated, larger operations against AQIM, against terrorism in general," Kouchner told media after the meeting.

According to corroborating sources, Mali says it was not informed of all the details of a Franco-Mauritanian raid on July 22 that was intended to free the hostage Germaneau after eight months in captivity in northern Mali.

AQIM said on Sunday it had killed Germaneau the day before as revenge after French and Mauritanian soldiers stormed one of the group's camps in Mali and killed seven militants, a toll given by the Mauritanian government.

Kouchner said the execution of the hostage was "a heinous crime" and said he hoped an African Union meeting in Kampala would issue a condemnation of the act.

The foreign minister was due to meet with French nationals at their embassy in Bamako before departing for Niamey for the last leg of his tour.

© 2010 AFP

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