Stephen Malcolm McGown, of South Africa, and Johan Gustafsson, of Sweden, have been held captive by al-Qaeda in Mali since 2011.
Stephen Malcolm McGown, of South Africa, and Johan Gustafsson, of Sweden, have been held captive by al-Qaeda in Mali since 2011.

Terror group’s video letter to SA, Sweden

By Xinhua Time of article published Jan 11, 2016

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 Nouakchott - Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has said the governments of Sweden and South Africa should meet its demands for “faster release” of their two respective nationals Johan Gustafson and Stephen Malcolm McGown who have been in detention since November 2011.

The remarks were made by the Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group through a video released on a Mauritanian website, Al Akhbar, which is always well informed on activities of armed terrorist groups in Northern Mali.

In the video titled “Letter to Sweden and South Africa,” AQIM urged the two governments not to resort to French mediation to resolve the issue of the hostages.

The video shows the two hostages who were kidnapped on November 25, 2011 when they were in a hotel in Timbuktu in northern Mali, as well as a masked man who was reading the statement in English.

With a long beard, the two hostages, visibly in good health, urged their respective governments “to do everything possible to secure their freedom.”

The spokesman said AQIM’s demands “remained the same as those issued in 2012,” without giving an indication on the nature of the demands.

He finally revealed that the video was recorded on December 17, 2015.

ANA

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