Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Historian Jean Garrigues: 'For the first time, Hollande knows what he is doing'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

New French economy minister signals changes to 35-hour week

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Valls ♥ Business

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Terrorist ransoms: Should governments pay up for hostages?

Read more

ENCORE!

Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche star in 'Clouds of Sils Maria'

Read more

  • Russian troops have entered Ukraine, says Kiev

    Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • New Ebola case in Nigeria brings death toll to 1,552

    Read more

  • Video: 'Neither Baghdad nor the US can defeat the Islamic State'

    Read more

  • Platini will not run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

    Read more

  • Air France pilots announce week-long strike in September

    Read more

  • Erdogan's inauguration paves way for constitutional change

    Read more

  • New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Air France suspends flights to Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone

    Read more

  • Uzi shooting by 9-year-old rekindles gun debate

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

Africa

No negotiation for kidnapped family, France says

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-02-27

France will not negotiate with militants holding a French family hostage, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Tuesday. The militants claim to be from Boko Haram, although some analysts say the kidnapping does not bear the hallmarks of the group.

France will not negotiate with the militants who took a French family of seven hostage in northern Cameroon last week, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Tuesday. The militants claim to be from Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram, although some regional analysts say the kidnapping does not bear the hallmarks of Boko Haram operations.

In a video posted online on Monday, the gunmen threatened to kill the three adults and four children unless the Nigerian and Cameroonian authorities release Muslim militants they are holding.

"We do not negotiate on that kind of basis, with these kind of groups," Le Drian told RTL radio. "We will use all [other] possible means to ensure that these and other hostages are freed."

“We do not play this bidding game,” le Drian said. “That is terrorism.”

Nigeria specialist Marc-Antoine Pérouse de Montclos told FRANCE 24 on Tuesday that it remains unclear whether the kidnapping in Cameroon was carried out by Boko Haram itself, an independent group with links to the militants, or one that simply shares its ideals.

“It is a very fragmented movement,” he said.

There are two main reasons to doubt claims that it was a Boko Haram operation, he said: “First, Boko Haram has never before kidnapped foreign nationals. Secondly, the video does not show the leader of the sect.” Pérouse de Montclos cautioned that, for the moment, France should not assume the group was operating under the specific orders of Boko Haram.

He suggested that an independent militant group “may have come across the family of French tourists by chance and decided to take them on their own initiative ... it may not have been an operation planned in advance”.

“All you see in the video is military men claiming to be members of Boko Haram, demanding the release of women detainees by Nigeria and Boko Haram members by Cameroon,” he continued. “In the Arabic version of the video, they ask France to stop fighting in ‘an Islamic country’. Presumably that would be Mali.”

As for demanding the release of prisoners, “I think they are trying to justify why they kidnapped a woman and children, which is definitely not something that has been advocated by the spiritual leader of the group,” Pérouse de Montclos said. By asking specifically for the release of women, he said the group “seems to be trying to draw a parallel to the kidnapping, to point out that Nigeria is detaining their women also”.

Pérouse de Montclos said the video clearly shows that the kidnapped family remains together and that prior media reports that they had been separated were mistaken. However, he noted that since it is not known when the video was recorded, the family could have since been separated.

“Was [the video filmed] two, three, four days ago? Are they still together? We do not know anything about that,” he said.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

 

Date created : 2013-02-26

  • CAMEROON

    Concern in Cameroon over kidnapped French family

    Read more

  • FRANCE - CAMEROON

    French special forces in Cameroon following kidnappings

    Read more

COMMENT(S)