Second video of abducted French family released in NigeriaBy YUH TIMCHIA in Yaoundé | Monday, March 18 2013 at 17:49
A second video of the French family of seven seized last month in north Cameroon and taken across the border into Nigeria has been released, Radio France International (RFI) reported Monday.
In the video sent to some journalists in Maiduguri in northern Nigeria, Cameroon President Paul Biya is presented as the only hope for the release of a couple, their children aged 5, 8, 10 and 12, and an uncle, writes RFI.
"They will release us if you release their members who were arrested in Cameroon," Tanguy Moulin Fournier, the head of the family that was kidnapped on February 19, says on the video.
"We have been held for 25 days in a desert. Our living conditions are harsh, especially for the children. We are losing our strength every day and starting to get sick. We will not be able to resist [much] longer," he says.
He says the Islamist group could attack Cameroon.
“Boko Haram does not want to get into conflict with Cameroon, but if you continue rounding up their members, they will multiply kidnappings and suicide operations with more vigour just like in Nigeria.”
A man speaking in Hausa, who presents himself as a member of the Islamist sect Boko Haram, is present in the video which is said to have been filmed last Friday.
The group also demands its members and their children imprisoned in Nigeria released. Three weeks ago an initial video was released where similar demands were made.
The video’s release follows a visit by French foreign minister Laurent Fabius aimed at bolstering an ongoing campaign to secure the release of the French citizens. The trip that took him to Cameroon and then to Nigeria.
Mr Fabius has said his country is determined to rescue the hostages while they are in good condition.
“Our commitment is to quickly find our countrymen safe,” Mr Fabius told reporters Friday after an hour-long closed-door meeting with Cameroon President Paul Biya in Yaoundé.
“I reiterated to President Biya how passionate French citizens have become in relation to the kidnapping.”
Mr Fabius also met with his compatriots residing in Cameroon who have become very wary of their safety in light of the abductions. He assured them their home country placed a premium on their security.
France has a strong business presence in Cameroon where about 6,200 of its nationals reside.
All means will be deployed to ensure the family is rescued, Mr Fabius told them.
“At the same time, we have to be efficient and this will be determined by how discreet we are,” he said.
Nigeria has ruled out negotiating with the hostage takers. France made the same resolve days after the kidnapping.
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