The fall of northern Mali to a mix of Islamist rebels and criminal groups has raised the prospect of a safe haven for terrorists in the Sahara. The groups fund themselves in part by kidnapping Westerners and then demanding ransom money. Reuters correspondent David Lewis in Mali’s capital details the growing threat in the region. For more, follow him on twitter @DG_Lewis.
My district patient at moderate democracy in West Africa. While a lot of other countries so -- and civil war -- has been few decades -- stability and regular elections and changing pound peacefully. What this -- Would beat corruption. A lack of development people became frustrated that despite the changes indeed is they weren't actually getting much progress. Algeria for during the 1990s. A long war which is amassed a fraction of these groups was sure that we came in and Marley. And in 2003. They -- -- -- people whereas in Algeria and this became a -- -- moment and it resulted in a multimillion dollar ransom. Which is to become a model future it kidnapping around them. Westerners were kidnapped from various countries. But it eventually ended up being taken back the money north. The southern section of al-Qaeda and Islamic McGraw that was largely untouched and about to operate. -- Generally the western government paid them according to sit people who -- studied -- -- -- -- -- -- on the number of sources that -- -- to see who actually involved in the negotiations are known to have a seat being tipped to -- they've paid out but the biggest. According to the US government have written out of the five million dollars a hostage. They were talking about. Significant some personal -- -- but there's been a breaking -- an environment and all the money in the and allowed them by weapons supply fuel for that fight there's. It goes there -- opened by eight. They ideology has never been very well accepted -- open market which you and so much more tolerant form of Islam but are buying services from local population it into local communities trying to create or save intermediate unit political community and society -- very strongly -- or -- Money today it's -- -- ignore it and mixes Islamist groups in the government economic code nominally in charge. But since so much to bury deep divisions within the political. Well and between civilians and soldiers who carried out two bit better of the efficiently. Over the years -- al-Qaeda has become increasingly active and Zahara -- is being seen as that we thought we did in the cap. So any government presence in the know just completely collapse which allowed he is meant to take full control and implement your control to cut to the country. Oh. The US to earned in the region and further build an entire community could gradually coming around so there are nations and beat down. It's a that he didn't make much more complicated because there's been a political crisis in the -- -- the politicians and soldiers are so great divide it. People wonder -- they don't necessarily know how it because it had gone up. Some of money neighbors are very -- ensuring that the instability. And pictures. Structured in the potential spillover into the country which are generally pretty weak country. That's helped shape at the same opportunity these countries that -- very probable. Yeah emotions there's thousands of them African leaders -- -- day. A -- -- that would help -- army retake control the -- It was still mom -- from actually saying -- -- action on the ground. Now apartment buildings are going up investors are moving in and rents are rising and what's happening here is happening across the entire country. People are renting the American dream.