Algerian government may descend into deeper crisis: Abayomi Azikiwe

To watch this interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the
Pan-African News Wire, just click on the website below:

Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:48PM GMT

A political analyst tells Press TV that the Algerian government was in
a very difficult situation and they felt that if they did not act
quickly, they would be in an even deeper crisis both internationally
as well as domestically.

The comments came after the Algerian government announced that 23
hostages and 32 kidnappers were killed in the final death toll of a
four-day siege at a natural gas plant in the east of the North African

Press TV has conducted an interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of
the Pan-African News Wire, to further discuss the issue. What follows
is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Mr. Azikiwe, in your opinion, how do you assess Algeria’s
handling of the hostage crisis?

Azikiwe: The Algerian government was in a very difficult situation.
They had to move quickly they felt in order to anticipate and possibly
head off a US, French or NATO military intervention. There were many
foreign nationals from these European countries as well as other
states. They were all involved in the standoff that has been going on
now for four days.

It is reported that some of the captives were intercepted on two buses
that were transporting personnel to the In Amenas plant– a very
important and strategic facility that supplies natural gas to Norway
and other countries in Europe.

I think that they felt if they did not act quickly that they would be
in an even deeper crisis both internationally as well as domestically.

Press TV: With some of the hostages killed in the drama, can the dead
people’s respective countries claim compensation?

Azikiwe: This is going to be a legal issue that undoubtedly will go on
for some time. It is very interesting that hundreds of Algerian
nationals were released by the group which calls itself the
?Signatories in Blood? which reportedly is headed by Algerian national
Mr. Mokhtar Belmokhtar. They put forward a series of very political
demands calling for the cessation of French military bombing as well
as the occupation of the neighboring West African state of Mali.

They also called for the refusal of Algeria to allow France to utilize
its airspace in carrying out its attacks against Mali. In addition,
they called for the release of prisoners held in the United States
reportedly connected with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center
and also for the release of a Pakistani national, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui
who now is serving an eighty-plus years sentence in a US maximum
security prison.

These are very political demands and of course they have repercussions
both within Algeria as well as internationally.
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