Interview with Aleksandr Tkachenko

Aleksandr Tkachenko, analyst at the Institute of Africa, joined Russia Today to comment on the kidnapping of the Russian specialists in Nigeria.

Russia Today: Would you say this kind of thing occurs often in African countries and why?

Aleksandr Tkachenko: Let me first of all to express my condolence to the relatives and friends of the citizen of Nigeria, who worked with the group of the Russian specialists and perished. This is certainly a very tragic fact and secondly, another sorrowful fact is that six inncocent persons, Russian specialists are under threat for a long time. As for the cases of kidnapping in Nigeria,  I can say that unfortunately in recent years there is a certain trend of increase of such incidents. According to the Associated Press agency information based on well informed Nigerian sources since the end of 2005 only there were about 200 foreign specialists kidnapped in Nigeria. And unfortunately this trend is developing according to the statistics. This year about 100 foreign specialists have been kidnapped. As for the situation with kidnapping of specialists in this one of the biggest African countries, these incidents are not accidental, the same incidents occur in other African countries. We remember situations of that kind in Sudan, Algeria, in the south of Africa. In fact not only Africa is famous for this trend in recent years. Such incidents are registered in Middle East, Latin America and even in industrially developed countries, both in Europe and North America, and here in Russia, too, such incidents took place. This tendency is really startling.

RT: What do you think were the reasons behind the kidnapping and why Russians?

A.T.: Speaking about this very incident in Nigedia I  would rather think that this kidnapping was made to get ransom though other versions cannot be excluded. So far the information on the issue is poor and it is quite understandable because full disclosure of the information on details concerning the kidnapping, negotiations, probable liberation of the Russians will not be given up to the moment that they are to be released. And let