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'Recording' of kidnapped French family released

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-03-18

In what appears to be a recording heard by Radio France Internationale (RFI), the head of a French family kidnapped by Nigerian extremists in Cameroon apparently pleads for the hostage takers demands to be met.

The father of a French family - including four children - kidnapped in mid-February in Cameroon has apperently spoken in a recording heard by Radio France Internationale (RFI) on Monday.

The recording opens with the voice of a man claiming to be a member of Nigerian extremist group Boko Haram, then switches to Tanguy Moulin-Fournier, the head of the hostage family, who says his had been held hostage for 25 days.

“We have to be cautious with this recording because there has been no official authentication that it is him,” said RFI correspondent Julie Vandal. “But comparing it with the earlier video, there is no doubt that it’s him.”

Vandal said that Moulin-Founier had explained that he was being held in a desert region and that life was very difficult, especially for the children, the youngest of whom is four years old.

“Each day we are losing our strength and we are beginning to become ill,” he said. “We can’t last much longer.”

FRANCE 24 speaks to Africa expert Emmanuel Goujon about hostage messages

He repeated demands made in the previous video calling for the release of prisoners being held in Cameroon and Nigeria.

The recording, believed to have been copied from a video, is addressed directly to Cameroonian President Paul Biya: “They will only liberate us if the men that you have arrested in Cameroon are set free.

“Boko Haram does not want a conflict with Cameroon, but if you continue to arrest its members, there will be kidnappings and suicide attacks in Cameroon.”

Date created : 2013-03-18

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