Det ble lørdag holdt demonstrasjoner i flere franske byer for å markere at det var har gått 1000 dager siden fire franskmenn ble tatt til fange av al-Qaida i Niger.
Det første livstegnet fra dem kom først etter nærmere to år. I en video sluppet i september, og innspilt 29. august 2012, står de fire frem og ber om hjelp.
Øverst fra venstre: Pierre Legrand, Marc Ferret, Daniel Larribe og Thierry Dole.
Den unge Legrand så medtatt ut og sa:
«Two years is difficult whether it’s health or morale. I am tired. You must do something with al-Qaeda so I can come home,» he said in the footage.
The four men are each shown against different backgrounds and the armed men behind them are not the same, suggesting they may have been separated. It is not known whether men are still being held in Niger or have been moved to a neighbouring country in the Sahel region.
De fire arbeidet ved den franske uran-gruven i Arlit i Niger. Til sammen syv ble tatt til fange og bortført. Tre av dem, blant dem Larribes kone, ble løslatt.
Uran-gruven betyr mye for Frankrike.
The four were among seven people working for French nuclear group Areva and Sogea-Satom, a subsidiary of construction group Vinci, who were kidnapped in September 2010 in the town of Arlit in Niger’s northern uranium mining zone.
Larribe’s wife, a Togolese and a Malagasy man were freed the February following their kidnap.
Hvordan det tar på å sitte som gissel kan man se av bildene av Larribe:
Det første er tatt rett før kidnappingen, 16. september 2010:
Det andre er etter to år i fangenskap:
Al-Qaida i Maghreb, AQIM, sendte ut en melding om at åtte gisler er i live. De sa de snart ville offentliggjøre en video som viste dette.
Samtidig truet de med å drepe gislene hvis Frankrike gjør forsøk på å befri dem.
Thierry Dol, Daniel Larribe, Pierre Legrand and Marc Feret were kidnapped in Niger by militants in September 2010 in the town of Arlit while working for a French nuclear firm.
A video released in September 2012 provided the first evidence that they were still alive.
Mr Legrand’s grandfather, Rene Robert, told French TV on Saturday that «there have been a lot of missed opportunities, there has been a lot of time lost and it is time to bring this situation to an end».
The fifth French hostage, Serge Lazarevic, was seized in November 2011 in north-east Mali.
Another Frenchman, Philippe Verdon, who was abducted with him was reported killed by AQIM in March this year. In its statement, the Islamist group confirmed his murder.
Correspondents say at least eight French citizens, a Dutchman, a Swede and a British-South African have been kidnapped in parts of the Sahara desert in recent years.