You are on your own

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Psamathe
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Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: You are on your own

Postby Psamathe » 29 Dec 2020, 12:41pm

If it is common knowledge that the French Gov. pay ransom (but masked through 3rd parties) one assumes the kidnappers would also know this so they'd be selecting French victims in preference over UK or US.

So if the "paying encourages" mantra is valid there should by now be some statistics to back it up. Are there any?

Ian

Ben@Forest
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Joined: 28 Jan 2013, 5:58pm

Re: You are on your own

Postby Ben@Forest » 29 Dec 2020, 12:54pm

Psamathe wrote:If it is common knowledge that the French Gov. pay ransom (but masked through 3rd parties) one assumes the kidnappers would also know this so they'd be selecting French victims in preference over UK or US.

So if the "paying encourages" mantra is valid there should by now be some statistics to back it up. Are there any?

Ian


l refer you to my last post.

pete75
Posts: 13647
Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: You are on your own

Postby pete75 » 29 Dec 2020, 1:50pm

Syd wrote:
pete75 wrote:
Syd wrote:The Zaire incident was in very different circumstances. The hostages were taken by invading rebels into Zaire and not by the Zaire government or its forces.

Irrelevant. Our government's "You're on your own" attitude means they wouldn't take action in the same circumstances.

Evidence please.

I think the statement quoted by the OP provides that.
On second thoughts if Johnson thought there was to be major political capital to be gained and it was close to an election he might take action.
Last edited by pete75 on 29 Dec 2020, 2:08pm, edited 1 time in total.

pete75
Posts: 13647
Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: You are on your own

Postby pete75 » 29 Dec 2020, 2:01pm

Ben@Forest wrote:
Psamathe wrote:If it is common knowledge that the French Gov. pay ransom (but masked through 3rd parties) one assumes the kidnappers would also know this so they'd be selecting French victims in preference over UK or US.

So if the "paying encourages" mantra is valid there should by now be some statistics to back it up. Are there any?

Ian


l refer you to my last post.


But only valid if compared to the number of hostages taken from countries which you say won't pay for their release. All I can say is if a member of my family was held hostages by terrorists or others demanding a million quid for their release I'd try and negotiate it down a bit to say half that but either way I'd pay it. Wouldn't you?

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Syd
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Re: You are on your own

Postby Syd » 29 Dec 2020, 2:05pm

pete75 wrote:
Syd wrote:
pete75 wrote:Irrelevant. Our government's "You're on your own" attitude means they wouldn't take action in the same circumstances.

Evidence please.

I think the statement quoted by the OP provides that.

The statement posted in the OP is a newspaper article, only readable through a paywall. The Independent is merely a newspaper and therefore can therefore only provide an editorial on its interpretation of limited facts.

You give a situation where several hundred French and Belgian nationals were held hostage by invading rebels in a foreign land.

We do not know how France or Belgium act had it been, sat, one single hostage. Neither do we know how Britain would have reacted had it been British hostages instead.

Comparing this with an individual held by government forces is again a very different situation.

How have France or Belgium dealt with similar circumstances?

Ben@Forest
Posts: 2710
Joined: 28 Jan 2013, 5:58pm

Re: You are on your own

Postby Ben@Forest » 29 Dec 2020, 2:12pm

Syd wrote:You give a situation where several hundred French and Belgian nationals were held hostage by invading rebels in a foreign land.

We do not know how France or Belgium act had it been, sat, one single hostage. Neither do we know how Britain would have reacted had it been British hostages instead.

Comparing this with an individual held by government forces is again a very different situation.

How have France or Belgium dealt with similar circumstances?


And we do know that in May 2000 Tony Blair sent troops into Sierra Leone; from the Guardian in 2010:

....the sudden arrival in May 2000 of a British force – some had come ashore on the beach opposite the lighthouse – of paratroops and Royal Marines. Under David Richards (then a brigadier, now chief of the general staff), Operation Palliser was first billed as a simple evacuation mission for expatriates. But that was a nervous Downing Street cover story. The real task was to bolster a UN operation that was on the point of losing control of Freetown to the vicious militias that controlled most of the country and had taken hundreds of peacekeepers hostage.

There was no strategic or commercial interest in the adventure, and none among the British public; this was the Blair/Cook "foreign policy with an ethical dimension" in its purest, most altruistic form. But the Sierra Leone intervention worked – uniquely well, in the history of modern military interventions in Africa.

pete75
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Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: You are on your own

Postby pete75 » 29 Dec 2020, 2:16pm

Syd wrote:
pete75 wrote:
Syd wrote:Evidence please.

I think the statement quoted by the OP provides that.

The statement posted in the OP is a newspaper article, only readable through a paywall. The Independent is merely a newspaper and therefore can therefore only provide an editorial on its interpretation of limited facts.

You give a situation where several hundred French and Belgian nationals were held hostage by invading rebels in a foreign land.

We do not know how France or Belgium act had it been, sat, one single hostage. Neither do we know how Britain would have reacted had it been British hostages instead.

Comparing this with an individual held by government forces is again a very different situation.

How have France or Belgium dealt with similar circumstances?


On second thoughts if Johnson thought there was major political capital to be gained and it was close to an election he might take action.

The newspaper article contains a quote from a foreign office letter to the relatives of a hostage. A hostage moreover whose situation was made worse by ill advised comments made by Boris Johnson when he was Foreign Secretary.
I don't see any relevance as to the accuracy of an article be it behind a paywall or not.

Psamathe
Posts: 11982
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: You are on your own

Postby Psamathe » 29 Dec 2020, 2:19pm

Ben@Forest wrote:
Psamathe wrote:If it is common knowledge that the French Gov. pay ransom (but masked through 3rd parties) one assumes the kidnappers would also know this so they'd be selecting French victims in preference over UK or US.

So if the "paying encourages" mantra is valid there should by now be some statistics to back it up. Are there any?

Ian


l refer you to my last post.

Not questioning if they pay or not. And somebody who does pay is bound to pay more than somebody who never pays. Just wondering if that they do (sometimes) pay means terrorists disproportionately target e.g. French business people or diplomats or French in general. I assume you have to look at kidnaps per traveler (as I'd guess French citizens have a greater tendency to head off overseas than US citizens).

Ian

Psamathe
Posts: 11982
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: You are on your own

Postby Psamathe » 29 Dec 2020, 2:21pm

pete75 wrote:
Syd wrote:
pete75 wrote:I think the statement quoted by the OP provides that.

The statement posted in the OP is a newspaper article, only readable through a paywall. The Independent is merely a newspaper and therefore can therefore only provide an editorial on its interpretation of limited facts.

You give a situation where several hundred French and Belgian nationals were held hostage by invading rebels in a foreign land.

We do not know how France or Belgium act had it been, sat, one single hostage. Neither do we know how Britain would have reacted had it been British hostages instead.

Comparing this with an individual held by government forces is again a very different situation.

How have France or Belgium dealt with similar circumstances?


On second thoughts if Johnson thought there was major political capital to be gained and it was close to an election he might take action.
....

If I'd been taken as a hostage (or family or friends taken) then last thing I'd want is Johnson getting involved making things even worse (as per his track record).

Ian

Ben@Forest
Posts: 2710
Joined: 28 Jan 2013, 5:58pm

Re: You are on your own

Postby Ben@Forest » 29 Dec 2020, 2:39pm

Psamathe wrote:Not questioning if they pay or not. And somebody who does pay is bound to pay more than somebody who never pays. Just wondering if that they do (sometimes) pay means terrorists disproportionately target e.g. French business people or diplomats or French in general. I assume you have to look at kidnaps per traveler (as I'd guess French citizens have a greater tendency to head off overseas than US citizens).


As said (in a link provided by pete75):

On the other hand, France is subject to massive public pressure to intervene in hostage crises, where a culture of public protests trains and maintains focus on bringing captives home. Simon reports that the French pay, but often through intermediaries. And he suggests that this has had a Barbary-like effect on future risk: “According to data provided by the French Foreign Ministry, the number of French nationals abducted overseas quintupled from 11 to 59 a year between 2004 and 2008.”

I very much doubt there more France-born French citizens in Africa than Americans (there must of course be a good number of French citizens from African Francophone countries). According to the Association of Americans Resident Overseas the number of US citizens in Africa in 2015 was over 230,000 and that is from statistics in the workplace - so more non-working Americans may accompany a working person.

Psamathe
Posts: 11982
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: You are on your own

Postby Psamathe » 29 Dec 2020, 3:10pm

Ben@Forest wrote:
Psamathe wrote:Not questioning if they pay or not. And somebody who does pay is bound to pay more than somebody who never pays. Just wondering if that they do (sometimes) pay means terrorists disproportionately target e.g. French business people or diplomats or French in general. I assume you have to look at kidnaps per traveler (as I'd guess French citizens have a greater tendency to head off overseas than US citizens).


As said (in a link provided by pete75):

On the other hand, France is subject to massive public pressure to intervene in hostage crises, where a culture of public protests trains and maintains focus on bringing captives home. Simon reports that the French pay, but often through intermediaries. And he suggests that this has had a Barbary-like effect on future risk: “According to data provided by the French Foreign Ministry, the number of French nationals abducted overseas quintupled from 11 to 59 a year between 2004 and 2008.”

I very much doubt there more France-born French citizens in Africa than Americans (there must of course be a good number of French citizens from African Francophone countries). According to the Association of Americans Resident Overseas the number of US citizens in Africa in 2015 was over 230,000 and that is from statistics in the workplace - so more non-working Americans may accompany a working person.

I was wondering about numbers. The relevance of quadrupling is only in relation to the starting point - so a lot depends on the starting point. Making up some numbers to illustrate what if county Y had seen a 10-fold increase (from 1 person to 10 people).

Regarding numbers of national overseas from any country, that is more so that one can get a realistic comparison. Comparing to e.g. US citizens kidnapped against US citizens compared to French citizens kidnapped in relation to French citizens would not be a useful comparison. I believe it's a wider issue than just Africa - some countries I've visited talking to other travellers I've ended-up speaking French more often than English.

I can see many problems comparing kidnap rates with nationalities to find if a track record of paying is actually impacting kidnapping likelihood e.g. is it mainly business people or diplomats being taken hostage or just routine travellers and at what point do the Gov. get involved e.g. not for a "express-kidnapping", but if family are contacted but for more modest amounts ...

Ian

pete75
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Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: You are on your own

Postby pete75 » 30 Dec 2020, 10:37am

Ben@Forest wrote:
I very much doubt there more France-born French citizens in Africa than Americans (there must of course be a good number of French citizens from African Francophone countries). According to the Association of Americans Resident Overseas the number of US citizens in Africa in 2015 was over 230,000 and that is from statistics in the workplace - so more non-working Americans may accompany a working person.


No figure but it's highly likely there are more French than US citizens in Africa given the nations long history of settlement there. I don't think where a nations citizen is born has any relevance so why mention it? What's the difference between a French citizen born In Belgium and one born in Paris? If a nation is looking after it's citizens it doesn't or at last shouldn't look at where they're born before deciding to help them.

Ben@Forest
Posts: 2710
Joined: 28 Jan 2013, 5:58pm

Re: You are on your own

Postby Ben@Forest » 30 Dec 2020, 11:55am

pete75 wrote:
Ben@Forest wrote:
I very much doubt there more France-born French citizens in Africa than Americans (there must of course be a good number of French citizens from African Francophone countries). According to the Association of Americans Resident Overseas the number of US citizens in Africa in 2015 was over 230,000 and that is from statistics in the workplace - so more non-working Americans may accompany a working person.


No figure but it's highly likely there are more French than US citizens in Africa given the nations long history of settlement there. I don't think where a nations citizen is born has any relevance so why mention it? What's the difference between a French citizen born In Belgium and one born in Paris? If a nation is looking after it's citizens it doesn't or at last shouldn't look at where they're born before deciding to help them.


I raised it because of that long history of settlement. Because of colonial history there will be citizens of Chad, or Mali, or Algeria or other Francophone countries who also have French citizenship. Some may have been born with it, some may have acquired it after being a student or working in France (so often a legacy of colonial ties), but they have spent part or most of their lives in Africa.

And that makes a difference between 'French' French citizens and other French citizens; maybe it shouldn't but it does. In October a white French hostage, Sophie Petronin, was released after being the captive of Islamic terrorists in Mali (it is thought her release was paid for). Emmanuel Macron was waiting at Paris airport to greet her home. Would Macron arrive in Bamako to celebrate the release of a black Malian/French dual citizen? If anything like that has happened it's been unreported.

And that brings us back to Zaghari Ratcliffe - part of the problem is of course she is an Iranian citizen too.

(By the way after all the French positive media coverage about Petronin it quickly soured when she revealed she'd converted to Islam when a hostage and appeared to have no intent to change that).