邦人人質事件 テロ封じに国際連携が肝要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 22, 2013)
Intl cooperation needed to stamp out terrorism
邦人人質事件 テロ封じに国際連携が肝要だ(1月21日付・読売社説)

The terrorist attack and hostage-taking incident launched by an armed Islamist group in Algeria has come to a bloody end.

It will be essential to get to the bottom of this incident so measures to prevent any repeat occurrence can be devised.

The incident at a natural gas plant at Ain Amenas in eastern Algeria ended Saturday, three days after it started, when Algerian special forces stormed the complex to bring the situation under control.

Dozens of Islamist militants and hostages have been confirmed dead, according to the Algerian government. The dead reportedly include Japanese employees of JGC Corp., a major plant engineering and manufacturing firm. We offer our sincere condolences to the victims caught up in this incident and their families.

Algerian government forces launched an attack on the terrorists Thursday, the day after the hostages were seized. This reflected its sense of urgency that similar terrorist attacks might follow unless the crisis was brought under control immediately.


Attack can’t be condoned

In the 1990s, about 150,000 people were killed in an internal war between Algerian government forces and Islamist militants. In view of this, the Algerian government was unbending in its refusal of any request for negotiations with the terrorists this time.

The Islamist group’s capture of plant workers and taking them hostage is a despicable act of terrorism that can never be condoned. This is obvious. But a question arises over whether the Algerian military operation was taken after carefully working out a strategy from the viewpoint of rescuing the hostages.

In talks with Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal over the telephone Sunday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed regret that the crisis had ended in a bloodbath. Abe was quoted as telling Sellal: “Japan had called for giving top priority to the hostages’ safety. It was regrettable that we received severe information about the Japanese hostages.”


Lack of communication

British Prime Minister David Cameron has expressed dissatisfaction over the fact that his government was not told of the attack in advance. Communication between the Algerian government and countries affected by the crisis was not smooth, and Algeria’s release of information on the safety of hostages has been insufficient.

The Algerian government must unveil to the international community all the details of the hostage crisis and its rescue operations after investigating why it could not prevent the militants from entering a vital gas plant where many foreigners work.

Armed Islamist forces are active not only in Algeria but also in northern and western areas of Africa. Unraveling the hostage-taking incident will help shed more light on this situation.

The international community must use this incident as a step toward standing firm against terrorism and taking effective steps to stamp it out.

The siege has left many issues to be addressed by Japanese companies operating overseas. They need to urgently review their crisis prevention and response arrangements.

Abe took the lead in working out government measures to handle the hostage crisis. It may be said that Japan reacted diligently to the crisis, with the Prime Minister’s Office at the heart of the response.

However, the government’s information-gathering and analyzing capabilities have been revealed to be inadequate. The government should consider necessary measures including a review of the personnel in diplomatic missions overseas. Further efforts must be made to bolster the country’s crisis management system.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 21, 2013)
(2013年1月21日01時50分 読売新聞)


srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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