continuing coverage of an attack on a hoet nel mali, gunmen have taken hostages in the capitol city. heavy gunfire was heard from the area in the last few hours. secure city sources and the hotel's operator say 174 people were originally being held. some have been released. and three however, have been killed. let's take a closer look at where the radisson blue is located. it is a massive hotel, taking up an entire block, in the western
district. al jazeera's mohamed vall has reported expensively out of mali. this claim of responsibility. what do you make of it? >> the first thing i should say is that we still need to -- keep doubly safe to be verified. [ inaudible ] are well-known in the area. this is a group that is an offshoot in the wider sa -- sahara, and they are an offshoot of al-qaeda, and they have been active in that area for a while. they have been pushed back into the mountains by the french in 2013, but that have quite a lot of revenge to reserve for the french. and it's likely if they have
claimed it, it is possible. >> if it is twar eggs what is it about a what is going on there that is refreshing their ability to do this kind of thing? >> yes, it is led by a twarig man -- one of the leaders used to be a twarig, but one of the leaders is not. it is made of up regions around the country. including black malians, and even from other black countries in sub saharan africa. it has northern malian elements
in it. it's a group that has much more of a regional and even international links to al-qaeda. the specific thing about it is it is there in this area, claiming to hold this area for the wilder al-qaeda organization. >> is that organization, if it is the group you are talking about, is there template for doing what they do the same as isil, i.e., they take control, they govern and control with a rule of terror in certain areas, or is it like certain other groups that take control, but then willingly -- well, they are received because they offer structure, they offer education. they look after people. there is that dichotomy between
these two groups, some could call it jihadists, and that is props our label. >> there are offshoots of al-qaeda that have a very clear agenda. they say they want to implement their law across the country. they want to create a situation where they can act like a kind of state. however, they are -- they are locked in this struggle against western dominance in the region, so much more than a -- a kind of organization that needs to take care of society, they need to take care of war. they actually are focusing on the war fair against what they
perceive as a foreign invasion of the islamic countries, and france primarily is concerned there. >> as an end point, the organizations you are talking about, as opposed to isil, do they want to get to another end game which is not what isil wants. isil seems to want a state of war in perpetuity. the other groups seem to want something else. do they just want to get rid of the government? would they run the country in a different way? or do they just want terror for the sake of terror. >> what i can say is their agenda is open. they say they want to implement sharia law, they want to establish real islam, according to their terms, wherever they go, and they can see that mali and west africa in general as an
islamic region, and this region is under the occupation of western powers, including, particularly france. we have seen an example i can state, when they -- and that -- in response to your question, whether they want to go more -- further into the land and take over the government, yes, they want to do that. when we seen them in the north when they stayed there for about one year undisturbed, the french were not there, and they were left there to do what they wanted. they pushed south, and reached the middle between the northern cities, and that's when the french said, no, enough is enough. and the french invaded. the french invaded there, because they wanted to stop the marching of those groups. because if they could have taken that area they could also go to other countries. >> thank you very much. mali's minister for security
say that the security personnel have surrounded the hotel and are receiving assistance from the french and american embassies. >> translator: three strong attackers were able to storm the hotel. we have also surrounded the hotel. we are also receiving assistance from french and american ambassador dors. we know there are around 140 people in the hotel as of last night. but we can't give you the precise number of people who have managed to escape or have been freed. they are now being held in a gym nearby. two security forces have been injured during the operation. we call on everyone to be -- vigilant. >> ivan what is the latest? >> reporter: we know at least 80 hostages have been released, but
there is still on ongoing hostage situation taking place. it is not clear why the 80 were released. or freed. we're getting a sense -- talking to some of the people on the ground, they don't have direct access to the hotel, but from what they can see and hear from people they have spoken to, is there can possibly be some negotiation going on with those attackers. various security agencies are involved in this, peter. some of them that were just mentioned there. french forces are involved. u.n. peace keepers are involved. there is large peace keeping contingent there, and malian soldiers are also involved in trying to diffuse this situation before it gets out of hand. at least three people have been
killed, so the hope is that things will obviously not get -- get worse, and they can sort the situation out and end the siege as fast as possible. we know the u.s. defense spokesperson giving a statement on what is going on says that the security personnel trying to sort the situation out and end the siege are being assisted to some degree by u.s. forces, appear rently 20 to 25 u.s. military personnel we believe were on the ground in bamco, not clear what they were doing there. perhaps training with the army. the malian government has been relying on help from the united states trying to improve security in the country. reports coming out that these personnel are helping clear civilians from various areas around the hotel, and basically just try to maintain calm and
security, whilst these security outfits work very hard to try and diffuse the situation and end this ongoing siege without more bloodshed. >> we were talking a little earlier ivan to the u.n. the u.n. spokesman telling us that the malian special forces were driving this operation. is it your feeling or suspicion, that they would be more predisposed rather than the french, say >> to negotiate, talk, or make the hostage takers feel that they might get a little bit of what they want to get people out of the building safe and sound. >> reporter: i think it needs to at least appear that the malians
are front and center to diffuse the situation. if -- if indeed, which is what it appears the target is foreigners, clearly the attackers will not want to, one imagine, deal with forces from other nations, nationals, the united states, french forces. obviously, also thinking about perhaps the identity of the attackers, that also might play into all of this. obviously there has been ongoing political and security crises of various kinds in mali since the coup took place there three years ago. you also have the rebellion in the north, and it's not clear the identity of the attackers. are they part of the twareg rebel movement that occurred in the north? are they part of another
organization that has been involved in this violence? i guess there is a sense that the best answer would be mali malians. >> ivan, thank you. mali was a french colony and paris has been involved in boosting security in the region as ivan mentioned there. the french foreign minister has been speaking about the crisis in mali. >> i'm in touch with our ambassador and with our people. right now there is action by the malian forces, which has started, and so far as french are concerned, are taking all
the necessary steps in order to solve that crisis. a crisis unit has been installed in the ambassador in mali, and in the [ inaudible ] in france. >> very strong relationship of course between mali and paris. andrew simmons joins us from the french capitol. the french president has been speaking a short while ago, andrew, what was he saying? >> reporter: he was calling on all french nationals, and there are 6,200 in bombco to be extremely careful in every aspect of their life. and he said everyone in france was behind malians, that they are friends. but let me bring you up to date with the defense ministry who
was speaking to al jazeera a short time ago. we have confirmation that that special forces are already on the ground in bombaco. we don't have the exact number. there is a large number helping the malian forces out is what we have been told by the spokesperson of the defense ministry. so definitely french special forces on the ground. in addition to that, there are at least 50 solders from an elite unit who have been flown out, and they should be about halfway there now. they are joining what is already a big french force to assist the malians in this crisis. now there are 3,500 french troops still deployed in this west african region. this is all part of the counter terror effort, which is referred
to by mohamed vall earlier on, goes back to when large forces were deployed at the request of the malian government to try to get back the ground taken by the insurgents in the north of mali. they did get that back, but at great cost to the french. a lot of attacks -- hit and run attacks, a number of peace agreements followed. one was with the twareg, another this year, that has fallen apart. the french are scheduled to withdraw their forces soon. the african union is also involved in the fight against the insurgent, and the disparate groups that rule so many parts of the area. so what we have now is the french actively assisting the malians to try to bring this
hostage crisis to an end, and we have every effort being made by the french, diplomatically, and in military terms to assist, peter. >> andrew, just remind us what mr. hollande has been saying today. >> reporter: francois hollande has made a number of remarks, but primarily, he's calling on the malians to rest easy and acknowledge that france will help them. this is what he had to say. >> translator: we have to once again show solidarity with our friends in mali. there are many nationalities in this hotel, and i want to assure the malians they have our full support. i also want to tell our french
nationals in mali to contact the french embassy for further information. >> reporter: yes, with a number of marks from lauren, not only what you heard earlier, but also a statement that he was taking all necessary steps in order to solve the crisis in mali. now that has many implications. furthermore, we have heard from the prime minister of france who is saying, basically, that the condolences have to go to those who have lost people in this crisis, and the sympathy of france are going out tamalians. although it isn't known how many french nationals have been taken hostage, peter. but it's certain that 12 air france air crew escaped at one
stage. air france saying they are safe and well, and they have now grounded all direct flights at this stage. but right now, a situation whereby france is doing all that it can to assist. >> thank you. let's recap for you. heavy gunfire was heard from the hotel in the last few hours. malian forces are at the scene
they get a lot of legitimacy and international credibility by staging these attacks, claiming them in the name of an affiliation with one of the other high-profile groups, so i think we'll continue to see that. mali has been struggling with -- with a set of interlocking problems related to peace in the north, radical groups that have come down, particularly after the collapse of the gadhafi regime in libya. these are still ripple effects from the collapse of libya, and the unresolved issues in nigeria which have spilled into northern mali and now we're seeing them trickle down into southern mali. i think the big question for the united states and france, is how are they going to work with their allies in mali, in
nigeria, in kenya, and somalia, to try to contain these threats in a more effective way. >> thank you very much. a malian journalist is outside of the radison blue hotel right now. it seems to have gone a little bit quiet there. what is going on? >> reporter: yeah, exactly. it's a bit quiet here, actually, what we are seeing, because [ inaudible ] from the radison hotel, it [ inaudible ] right away now. but it's quiet, all of the corners are full of crowded people, and u.n. forces, mali forces, and others are all at the corners. and people are quiet and watching, saying what is happening. behind the major building of the radison, there is another radison building, it is an
annex, and this annex there are some soldiers. they are trying to get inside the building to see how they can assist in the operation. [ inaudible ] people here [ inaudible ]. >> i'm assuming here that it's dark where you are right now. is the hotel illuminated from the inside or from the outside? have they deployed arc lights so they can see clearly what is going on? >> reporter: yes, the front of the hotel, you can see the parking [ inaudible ] but it seems to be quiet there. only from -- yeah, some soldiers and policemen just walking around, and u.n. forces. everybody seems to be quiet and watching, really, what is going to happen. >> we understand from the various people we have been talking to here on al jazeera in
the past half hour or so, that the french special forces, we're not sure how many there are, but the french special forces are there. they are involved. you have the french, the malian special forces. the malian security forces, the u.n. personnel, is it easy for you to differentiate between the different groups of people? >> reporter: yeah, yeah, we can see malian forces [ inaudible ] at the corner -- just the corner of the radison, i mean one building. the u.n. forces [ inaudible ] actually, and then the french forces might be probably to the other side, so i can't see all of the corners at the same time, but it -- as i say it is quiet for the moment.
it's quite quiet here. >> okay. thanks very much. keep us updated if you can. memo -- mohamed vall has reported extensively in mali. we have a report that the group is not particularly connected to isil. what do we make of that? >> yeah, usually isil when they reach a land, and when they have a [ inaudible ] they claim it, and also we know that this group [ inaudible ] in particular has never claimed allegiance to isil. so this corroborates the american report that this group doesn't have to do with isis, or isil. [ inaudible ] as he is known, algerian born has been leading these operations for years now. and he has split from al-qaeda
which he lead personally for sometime. and he is known to be even more radical than the main stream al-qaeda. you can compare him to isis. one of his most high-profile operations happened in 2013 when he took over an algerian gas factory in algeria near the border with mali, and that operation lasted for sometime, and 40 hostages were killed during it. at least one or two were american nationals. he is known to be the toughest man among those radical groups in the area, and he -- another name of his group, before his group became [ inaudible ] the name of the group was those who sign with blood. so it is one of the least likely to negotiate. and he goes into bloody action
before he even talks with people. >> tomorrow in the papers we'll see another one of those charts with faces that we didn't really recognize before something bad happened like this. but how are the people of mali going to be reacting to this? because it's not the easiest country in the world to live in. >> of course not. and i can tell you from firsthand experience that, you know, this particular incident will only further complicate the situation in mali, particularly between arabs and black africans inside the country, because these people are considered by the majority black malians as arabs and any action of this type that happens only complicates the dialogue that has been going on between the people of the north, part of whom are arab and part of whom are twareg, and i have seen
misplaced action because al-qaeda has attacked. you can only expect such acts of revenge to happen in the next few days. >> but the truth of this kind of situation, surely is that the perpetrators quite like that element of potential chaos that always gets blended into the mix after this, that's why there were the calls in france, keep calm, carry on, and there was still that static attention percolating through the country. >> yeah, there are a lot of things, and most are negative things even to the group themselves because as i told you, some of these groups were in charge of the cities in the north, and nobody cared about it
internationally speaking. they decided to take further steps and that backfired and they were expelled from the cities. even for the group itself they are going to pay a heavy price for this, let alone simple citizens and governments as well. >> okay. ivan is gauging the situation for us out of abuja, bringing a different perspective. your perspective having been there a lot. if this is being driven by what, five different agencies involves now. it comes down to probably one guy making a decision to talk to these people to where there is a point that either you beat them down and wear them into submission, or that's the tipping point where you do something military. this is a prison in mali. at what point do we reach that decision that has to be taken?
>> we have seen this -- we have seen the pattern that algeria set in this respect, and we have seen also several other situations where when it comes to hostage taking -- like a high probability of bloodshed taking place before it becomes peaceful, because there is a peaceful [ inaudible ] but now what we see is that this calm around the hotel and inside it, i expect this situation either to be protracted, as i said, if they have -- if they have food and water, they can keep on for days until they make sure that part of their demands is met, which i doubt, because the french and the americans probably won't accept that. it will set a precedent somehow and it will only galvanize this group to take more hostages. the best scenario for them was
to take hostages without -- like in the desert or somewhere, and go away with them, and then negotiate for years and then have a ransom paid and then they bring them back. but this particular situation, because there is this high tension situation and these troops surrounding the place, it's very difficult to predict if they will win. i'm talking about this group that has done it. they will win or to peacefully from this hotel. >> the very latest is one of three people who lost their lives is belgian. that's all we know at the moment. so three people were killed, one of them was a belgian. recapping the main elements of that ongoing event at the radison blu hotel in bamako.
we are understanding that there is an ongoing negotiation situation. they are being assisted by u.s. and french special forces. is there are at least ten gunmen involved in the attack. three people were killed, one confirmed as being belgian. a group affiliated with al-qaeda have claimed to be behind the attack. hashem what is your reading of the situation right now? >> reporter: well there has been knob official report here in turkey. there are reports that there were seven turkish hostages, six
managed to escape. there are conflicting reports. we don't know if they escaped or were released, but the prime minister issued a statement saying that he is monitoring the situation. basically now all of the attention is focused on [ inaudible ]. many think that the other group -- it's the group that has the military capabilities to launch separate attacks. they targeted the same hotel a while ago. the problem is, it's a divided group. there is a faction which has their loyalty to isil, and the other faction, which is lead by another man still claims affiliation with al-qaeda. i was in mali in 2012 just after
the chaotic situation in the country when the north was taken over by different groups, particularly affiliated with al-qaeda. there is absolutely no way to take on those groups while you don't have stability, and a strong united government. the french have launched a massive military operation. they have said they have managed to sort of undermine al-qaeda, take down some of their military capabilities. but we are seeing the group take advantage of the volatile situation in north calf, getting weapons from libya. al-qaeda and the different groups plaiting in the sub saharan area, you are talking about fighters from many countries.
and there are groups affiliated with boko haram. so it's going to be an, treatmently difficult situation. this attack targeting the hotel shows that this is a group that has intelligence, that has the capabilities to move from the poorest areas in the north and hit hard at the very heart of the capitol, bamako. >> thank you very much. if you are just joining us, dozens of people are still being held inside the hotel. we are supposing the hostage negotiators with talking to the hostage takers. french special forces are now there. there's also an elite squad being sent to the country from france. already you will remember there are 3.5 thousand french troops on the ground there.
amongst the group that was set free there was an air france crew at the hotel. they were set free almost straight away. there were seven turkish hostages, six of them, we think, escaped, and the focus now turns on this particular group that has claimed responsibility. hashem making the point that the group is in effect split, half of them support al-qaeda, half support isil, although there has been no claim of responsibility. so that live situation continuing to develop and evolve. if you are aware from your tv, do check out the website, aljazeera.com, or talk to us on facebook and twitter as well. ♪ the french authorities have confirmed that a third body
recovered from the apartment in saint-denis is the cousin of abdelhamid abaaoud who blew herself up on wednesday. that comes as e.u. leaders meet in brussels to discuss tougher measures including tightening the borders. >> reporter: in the early hours of thursday morning, another police raid, more people taken away under france's expanded security powers for questioning. this is said to be the mother and brother of the female suicide bomber who blew herself up on wednesday as police raided the apartment in saint-denis. the paris prosecutor as identified the woman, possibly a cousin of abdelhamid abaaoud, identified as the architect of last friday's attacks. a neighbor explained she has
been ill treated as a child and removed by social services. >> translator: she was treated badly. she slept attached to a radiator, she was electrocuted. >> reporter: the prosecutor said a third body was discovered in the rubble, identity as yet unknown. it was good intelligence that lead police to the building, but an apparent lack of intelligence allowed the attacks to happen in the first place. something the french prime minister has admitted poses serious questions. >> translator: we have learned that he was in the rubble of that apartment. the investigation has to continue to understand why this man that was the subject of an international war rent issued by
belgium could cross so many borders in this way. >> reporter: in brussels leaders have rallied to france's call for help. >> europe is standing by france in solidarity and compassion. this meeting in brussels is of great importance today. first of all, let me remind you that after charlie hebdo, i had proposed and finally it was done, the creation of the counter terrorism center in europe. i believe at the moment to make one more step forward and put the bases for the creation of a european intelligence agency. >> reporter: paris is back to business as usual in the rain, but everyone who passes the various attack sites takes the
time to stop and look, perhaps light a candle or leave a message in utter silence. life goes on, of course, but the awful events of a week ago, the deaths of so many, have triggered consequences in france and abroad, that are only beginning to unfold. jonah hull, al jazeera, paris. let's take you from paris to brussels, because there's a big meeting going on there today. e.u. foreign ministers tries to make the continent of europe safer in the aftermath of what happened in the french capitol. paul they are trying basically to reheat stuff they have wanted on the table for what, seven or eight years. have they managed it? >> reporter: i think they have been successful, yes, certainly in the majority of the cases. the justice and interior ministers who came to this
meeting, it was scheduled to express condolences and solidarity with the people of france, but secondly to accelerate measures which have been in the pipeline for some while. there were a series of counter terrorism measures agreed at a conference summit that took place back in february of this year, and yet they are still in the pipeline. the measures that you speak about, taking eight years is for example, the e.u.'s passenger name register, which would basically take the names of people flying around europe and keep them on a centr central -- database. it is still in place. so what we have seen is renewed pledges to accelerate the processes and promises made back in february, and i have the communique in front of me, a
couple of new promises or new dates for implementing those february promises, and one of them, for example, is to implement immediately the necessary systemic and coordinated checks in external borders. that means that people who are e.u. citizens who are fly going the european union from outside will now have their pass ports fully checked instead of the cursory checks they have now. that has brought in because of e.u. citizens traveling to syria, being trained as fighters, and then coming back. that measure specifically on the back of the paris attacks is new in this meeting. >> paul, thank you very much. imans and mosques across france have condemned the
attacks today. but a rally has been called off. many french muslims say they feel more alienated than ever before. mohammed jamjoom reports. >> reporter: all his life this man has struggled with acceptance, a french algerian background. >> translator: it was always difficult at school. they called me the arab. and it's always been hard to get a job with the face i have. >> reporter: born and raised in france, he certainly sees himself as french, but says his fellow country men and women only ever identified him as algerian. it was as easy for him to fall into dealing drugs as it was to slip into despair. >> translator: there was no other activity for us. not even a youth association. there are so many members of the north african community here who need help. but the city never has enough
money to help them. they feel alone. >> reporter: many muslims feel more alone than ever before now. resentment is growing almost as fast as fear a spreading. practically everyone we have spoken with today tell us they are worried that negative attitudes will only harden. at the same time they were all too afraid to tell us that on camera. this man with the collective against islamaphobia in france tells me it's easy to see why so many muslims in france feel alienated. >> from kindergarten you are always treated differently. they are slip into this complex, thinking this is not my country. these people hate me. and it's normal for me to be treated separately. there are people that are effected by violence, criminality, and there are groups that pray on these weak elements to turn them into home grown terrorists.
>> reporter: he adds so long as the french government doesn't address the disenfranchisement, the situation will not improve. it is a thought that haunts this man. he used to dream of a day where he would have a family of his own. now he find himself far more concerned about his two children and the future they will face than he ever was himself. the director of research at france's national center for scientific research. he has interviewed isil fighters in iraq. and joins us from new york. why do you think young men -- invariably young men decide to cross that line and do isil's bidding? >> well, it's very different from the fighters in iraq and syria, and the fighters coming from europe.
in europe they are mostly youth in transitional stages in their lives, students and immigrants between jobs and girlfriends, having left their native land to find significance, and as your previous interviews just showed, many feel in a state where they are neither french nor muslim. one woman told us i felt like a transgender, neither christian for muslim, and this is the only place i can find dignity in who i am. and many go for idealism, adventure, glory, and a sense of significance. but in iraq, to tell you the truth, it's mostly because -- in the wake of the american invasion of iraq, the imposition of the shia minority at least from the point of view of the
sunni minority, lead to the disaster, all of the isil fighters that i interviewed, which were all captured, they all told us of growing up in hell during the american invasion. they couldn't go out of their homes. parents were killed. relatives were killed, and isis comes along and says look, it's understandable. this is part of this world conspiracy against muslims, and you can do something about it, so they joined. some join because they are forced to join. isis will also go to a village and say you give us 20 men or we destroy your village, or they come to a man and say you give us three sons or we'll take your daughter as a bride. so there is a wide range of reasons. >> you are talking about people
not feeling french and not feeling like muslims. just today we're hearing how the european union is going to carry through on stuff that has been on the table for eight years to close it off from the areas that these young men want to come from, in effect the e.u. is riding a coach and horses through its own shengan agreement. how do you get beyond the rhetoric to make the people of france safe, whilst at the same time get beyond the same rhetoric to make the young male muslims of france feel safe as well? >> well, so far the reaction is everything is okay here. there is just a bunch of criminals and psycho paths running around. or we have to hunker down and be
exclusionist. i think both are not serving france or europe very well. the islamic state and the management of savagery or chaos argued that their role is to create chaos everywhere in the world, to destroy the gray zone that most people exist. so the idea is to drive muslims towards the islamic state by including, you know, see -- agency know phobia and racism, just hunkering down isn't going to do much for anybody. >> many thanks for joining us. we appreciate your incite. okay. let's just recap on what is going on at the radison hotel.
all hostages have now either been freed or they have escaped. malian special forces helped bring hostages out. at least ten gunmen were involved in the attack. three have been killed. a group after -- affiliated with al-qaeda has claims responsibility. >> reporter: these are pictures from inside the radison blu hotel in bamako. several gunmen stormed the hotel, keeping at least 170 guests and staff captive. >> translator: this morning at 7:00 am the radison hotel was attacked. according to the information we
have, there were two or three armed men who were able to walk into the hotel. we activated our crisis cell, including heads of military and officials from foreign affairs and the security ministry. we have also deployed on cite to cordon the hotel. >> reporter: the french government announced it would send more special officers to help malian forces. >> translator: we have to once again show solidarity with our friends in mali. i want to assure the malians that they have our full support and we will help in any way we can. i want to tell your french nationals to contact the french embassy for further information. >> reporter: the radison hotel is popular with many
nationalities. mali has been in political crisis since a coup there three years ago, and a rebellion in the north which lead to french military involvement. the hotel siege coming just after the paris attacks is evidence that armed groups can attack civilians wherever they may be. a senegalese director joins on skype this hour from dakar. there is a converse going on between the hostage negotiators and the hostage takers. given the prism we are viewing this through, a weak frightened government bolstered from bits of military from all over the world it would appear, what can be said, what can be offered, and what would be acceptable?
>> look, it's a real situation which show that some african nations, and mali is a case in point are rapidly losing their sovereignty. france is controlling the security on the ground with activated forces [ inaudible ] and other terrorists groups are operating freely, almost across the land, and operating since this morning in -- in this hotel. and also the political crisis in mali as well. so to a certain extend all of this is happening really beyond and above the [ inaudible ] of mali. what i think is happening at this stage is we need to form a coordinated african response to this challenge. it's an african problem. but unfortunately as much as we heard the chairperson of the
african union talk about the attack in paris one week ago, we haven't heard [ inaudible ] say a single word about what is happening in mali. we have not heard the african union calling for, say, a conference to address the terrorism issue in africa. we haven't said for instance, the west africa body say something about it. this is above and beyond mali, and we need a coordinated action. >> just let me interrupt you for a second. when you talk about the african union not saying a word and gnaw not saying a word, with all due respect, sir, those organizations don't operate in a vacuum. if the african union wants to say something, about, quote, terrorism in west or east africa, then african leaders have to say it. they just all say it at the same time, via the same communique,
and put out the same press release. >> i am sorry to beg to differ with you. [ inaudible ] chairman of the community [ inaudible ] okay? in addition don't forget last week [ inaudible ] spoke about what happened in paris. so you don't need to convene immediately a summit before speaking out. you have some margin to maneuver, and beyond you need to show leadership by convening these kind of meetings. because it is becoming rapidly, the really obstacle to economic development to democracy in africa, and you don't hear any sort of structured response to it. but you need leaders who can show real leadership by putting aside their temptation to be driven by superficial things, beautiful clothes, traveling
here and there, attending conferences in europe or the united nations. i think these questions should be addressed by africa in partnership with others, unfortunately one or two years ago, they allowed themselves to be convened in paris under the weak french president, mr. hollande to organize a summit on african sovereignty. it's an insult. after 55 years of independence in africa, they are certain things we need to address, and we need to allow other people, partners to -- >> i apologize, i have to interrupt you again. but thank you so much for joining us from dakar. we understand from malian state television that 18 bodies have been found inside the radison blu hotel in bamako.
mohammed is that a fair reading of what is going on here that mali is losing its sovereignty? you have got all of these disparate interests in the shadows getting involved? >> well-being explosioned to mali's discourse in the region there. i know this has been reiterated again by analysts and locals, and even the citizens who are concerned. they say we don't have sovereignty. our minerals are being exploited, still, just the way they were before independence. our governments are unable to take care of our economic situation, of our security, just the same manner that -- when there were no governments even, before independence. that is a fact that africans are
feeling very, very strongly about, like just the gentlemen that has been speaking. we can see the results when you have a failed state or almost failed state like mali. and he is expressing something that is being felt by many malians. >> okay. we have this ongoing hostage situation inside the radison blu hotel in the malian capitol, bamako. at least 18 people have lost their lives. dozens of people a little earlier today were released -- they were released if they could quote passages from the quran. you have got french and local special forces, army and police there as well. do stay with us. continuing coverage here on al jazeera.
after a seven-hour siege, an if i recall says all hostages have now been freed from a mali hotel. ♪ hello there, i'm felicity barr, and you are watching al jazeera live from london. also coming up in the program. that siege has been taking place a week after the attacks in paris where the death toll has now risen to 130. e.u. ministers agree to tighten checks on people entering and leaving the border-free zone.