Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Fashion, what's happened in 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

France: 2014 in review

Read more

#THE 51%

South Africa: Taking a stand against child marriage

Read more

DEBATE

The Future of the Book

Read more

DEBATE

The Future of the Book (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

France 24’s best documentaries of 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'We have to build a new Tunisia', says the president of the Tunisian Parliament

Read more

FACE-OFF

France on alert after attacks: a case of collective hysteria?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'Beijing needs to revaluate its policy in the Tibetan areas', says FM of the Tibetan government-in-exile

Read more

Africa

Video claims French family kidnapped by Boko Haram

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-02-26

Islamist abductors claiming to be Boko Haram say they are responsible for last week's kidnapping of a French family in northern Cameroon, in a short video posted on YouTube on Monday.

A video apparently showing seven French hostages kidnapped from northern Cameroon was posted online on February 25, with a man claiming that a radical Islamic group from Nigeria holds them.

The video, posted to YouTube, lasts 3:25 minutes and shows two men, a woman and four children flanked by two armed men wearing camouflage uniforms.

Another speaks in Arabic in front and says that Boko Haram has taken them hostage over the French military intervention in northern Mali.

“I address the President of France; we … Boko Haram … have taken hostage these seven people behind me: two men, one woman and four children at the border of Cameroon and Nigeria,” he said.

“The French president has chosen to go to war with Islam, and we are going to go to war with him.”

He also threatened the governments of Cameroon and Nigeria, and demanded the release of Boko Haram members in exchange for the hostages.

Addressing Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, he said, “We are ready to go to war and we will win … glory will be ours.”

“If you do not meet all of our demands, and I say all of our demands without exception, we will be forced to execute the hostages,” he said.

“Yes, you have understood correctly, we will kill the hostages.”

Despite claims in the video, it was not immediately clear if the abductors were indeed from Boko Haram, which has carried out a violent insurgency for years in northern and central Nigeria but has never before claimed a kidnapping.

It is unknown when the video was recorded. A source close to the family confirmed their identities to AFP.

France's foreign ministry said it was still trying to verify the authenticity of the video.

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in a statement, "These images are terribly shocking. They display a cruelty without bounds."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the family was “probably” being held in Nigeria.

Cameroon's Communication Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said he could not comment because his government was not aware of the video.

The family, who were based in Cameroon, were visiting the Waza National Park when they were kidnapped on February 19. They have been identified as Tanguy Moulin-Fournier and his wife Albane, as well as their four sons, Eloi, Andeol, Mael and Clarence, aged between 5 and 12 years old.

Boko Haram "has its own agenda"

Tanguy's brother Cyril Moulin-Fournier was on vacation and with them at the time. The three adults are all around 40 years old.

The family, with the exception of the uncle, moved to Yaounde, Cameroon's diplomatic capital, in autumn 2011 when the father began a job there overseeing the construction of a liquid natural gas plant. The uncle lives in Barcelona, Spain.

Cameroonian and Nigerian soldiers are searching for them in the arid, rural border region the two countries share in West Africa.

More than 6,000 expatriates have settled in Cameroon yet these kidnappings mark the first time Westerners have been taken hostage in the western African country.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

WHERE FRENCH NATIONALS HAVE BEEN ABDUCTED

Date created : 2013-02-25

  • CAMEROON

    Concern in Cameroon over kidnapped French family

    Read more

  • FRANCE - CAMEROON

    Paris denies release of hostages taken in Cameroon

    Read more

  • FRANCE - CAMEROON

    French special forces in Cameroon following kidnappings

    Read more

COMMENT(S)