By Rida Lyammouri,
11 November 2015
Note: The name of the NGO and the identities of its workers were not stated citing security and confidentiality reasons.
On 03 November 2015 a group of five workers for a non-governmental organization (NGO) were kidnapped and released the same day by three unknown gunmen. The incident took place south of Ménaka, Mali while the group was conducting an on ground assessment to identify vulnerable families remaining in the area. While Malian, French, and United Nations forces are present, northern Mali remains a hostile area for local and foreign national NGO workers.
The group of workers began their work around eleven o’clock in the morning at a small village 22km south of Ménaka. The village is predominantly populated by the Idoguiritane clan of Douassak Tuareg tribe. After the group finished taking a lunch break, around 13:20, three unknown gunmen on two motorcycles emerged from a valley on the east side of the village. Two of the gunmen were each carrying an AK-47, while the third one had a vest and a belt filled with ammunition.