AFP re-reports the allegations of two Catalan journalists, now safely home. They say that they were threatened with kidnapping and delivery to Al-qaeda by the Mayor of Gao, Sadou Harouna Diallo (don’t ask me why AFP put an extra “a” in his name).
Diallo is a well know character, the owner of the successful Tizimizi hotel chain, business man, and regular kingpin on the Commune urbaine de Gao. He ran his 2009 campaign on the slogan “Yes We Can,” while never missing an opportunity to associate himself with the American soldiers in town to train Mali special forces.
He’s also the one that the Malians arrested by the US in November for drug-running named as their “connection” for transit (not drugs) in the region. He famously caused a big stink in the area in 2009 when he abandoned his post as SG of the ADEMA-PASJ ruling party, then ran his slate to victory in 7 0f the 10 seats of the local council as independents linked to the “Mouvement Cityoen”: a group that hopes to underwrite more power for the “non-partisan” President of Mali.
I can’t imagine he’d have anything to hide from nosiy foreign reporters. Or have anything to do with people disappearing.