(AFP) – May 16, 2012
BAMAKO — A west African Al-Qaeda splinter group on Wednesday threatened to kill a Spanish hostage kidnapped in western Algeria last year if their demands are not met, a spokesman said.
"Spain is postponing every round of negotiations to answer our demands, and this is going to put the life of hostage Enrico Gonyalons to an end," said Adnan Abu Walid Sahraoui, spokesman for the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, or MUJAO.
MUJAO first emerged last December, presenting themselves as an offshoot of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, when they claimed the kidnap three months earlier of three aid workers -- two Spanish, one a woman, and an Italian -- from Tindouf, Algeria.
The group is demanding the release of two Sahrawis arrested by Mauritania for their role in the kidnapping, as well as 30 million euros ($40 million).
"Spain must understand our message... Spain will carry all responsibility" for whatever happens, the spokesman said in a written message to AFP.
He castigated the Western Sahara liberation movement, the Polisario Front, Algeria, Morocco and the United Nations, urging the Sahrawi people to "wage jihad" or holy war to "get rid of the domination" of these groups and countries.
MUJAO is also holding seven Algerian diplomats seized on April 5 in Gao, northern Mali, as several armed groups descended on the region in the wake of a coup in the capital Bamako.
The kidnappers demanded 15 million euros for their release, and when negotiations failed on May 8, they gave a 30-day deadline for the Algerian government to fulfil the demands before they would kill the hostages.
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