Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

France concerned about anti-Semitism

Read more

WEB NEWS

Online movement demands peace in Gaza

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Apple aims to satisfy China's hunger for smartphones

Read more

DEBATE

MH17: Punishing Putin? (part two)

Read more

DEBATE

MH17: Punishing Putin?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Competing narratives in Malaysia Airlines disaster coverage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

  • Video: Fear, death and mourning in Gaza’s Khan Younis

    Read more

  • Kerry arrives in Israel to push for Gaza ceasefire

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with warships sale to Russia

    Read more

  • Netherlands to honour MH17 victims in national day of mourning

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Flight MH17 shot down ‘by mistake', US intelligence indicates

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • PSG punished by UEFA for abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Children killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

France

French family kidnapped in Cameroon describes ordeal

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-04-23

Four children between the ages of 5 and 12 were among seven members of a French family kidnapped by Islamist militants in Cameroon last February and held hostage for two months, living exposed to the elements in the shade of a tree.

Four children between the ages of 5 and 12 were among seven members of a French family kidnapped by Boko Haram Islamists in Cameroon Feb. 19 and held hostage for more than two months in neighbouring Nigeria. Along with their parents and their uncle, they lived exposed to the relentless sun protected only by a canvas or the shadow of a tree.

"The kids did very well, they didn't cry, they didn't have nightmares,” said their mother, Albane Moulin-Fournier. “They were just kids playing with whatever they could find -- sticks, an empty can. We had a few books that we managed to grab before they took us. We had the fables of [Jean de] la Fontaine.”

Some moments were more difficult than others. The adults had to negotiate with their kidnappers to obtain water and other goods. But even far away from home, the Moulin-Fournier parents created a routine for their children.

"We had activities, we folded our blankets in the morning and we prepared breakfast," said their uncle, Cyril Moulin-Fournier. "It gave us a certain rhythm and that was important."

The children are now in therapy and only blurred images of them have been broadcast by the media, in accordance with French law.

Staying united may help the family overcome the trauma. But each family member will receive individual therapy to work through any personal distress.

Tanguy Moulin-Fournier, the children’s father and an employee of French energy firm GDF Suez, had been based in Yaoundé with his wife and their four sons since 2011. His brother Cyril was visiting them from his home in Barcelona when the family was seized.

When asked about leaving Cameroon upon his release last week, Moulin-Fournier told the press: “We’ll be back.”

The Moulin-Fournier family arrived back in France from the Cameroonian capital Yaoundé Saturday on a French government jet, accompanied by Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

 

French family returns home after two-month long hostage ordeal

 

Date created : 2013-04-23

  • FRANCE - CAMEROON

    French family arrives in Paris after hostage ordeal

    Read more

  • CAMEROON-NIGERIA

    'Recording' of kidnapped French family released

    Read more

  • CAMEROON - FRANCE

    Video claims French family kidnapped by Boko Haram

    Read more

COMMENT(S)