French Family abduction in Cameroon:Nigeria reveals Boko Haram was paid $3m ransom for freeing hostages / Africa News

French-Family-hostages-freedA confidential report from the Nigerian government has revealed that the militants Boko Haram who captured French family of seven in February this year has been paid $3m as ransom before releasing the hostages.

Boko Haram released the French Family after taking them hostage for more than one month in the northern part of Cameroon close to the border with Nigeria.

The French family, including four children, was captured in Cameroon in February after they were returning from a tourist visit from the Waza National Park near the border with Nigeria.

The Reuters News Agency who claimed to have seen the Nigerian report reported that the report suggested that 1.6 billion CFA francs ($3.15 million) was paid, but that right up until the last minute Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau had insisted on double that, before agreeing to reduce it if some Boko Haram members in Cameroonian jails were freed.

The report did not say who paid the ransom for the family of seven, who were all released on April 19, but mentioned that Cameroon had freed some Boko Haram prisoners as part of the deal.

Boko Haram had earlier demanded that some of its prisoners held in Cameroon be freed before they will negotiate on releasing the hostages.

But the French President Francois Hollande has strongly denied the claims saying France has stop paying ransom to militants and pirates long time ago.

Many in Nigeria according to local reporters say they do not believe in what the French President has said that France did not pay any ransom.

The Cameroon government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary on his part said “Cameroon did not pay any ransom” to the militants.

Nigeria where the reported emanated from declined to comment on the issue but many analysts also are pointing fingers at  the French Gas Group GDF-Suez, the company the father of the family works for.

Mr. Moulin-Fournier who works for the gas group, his wife Albane and four children, aged between five and 12, had been joined on their holiday by his brother Cyril and decided to visit the Waza National Park when they were abducted.

In a YouTube video released about a week after their capture, the militants demanded the release of prisoners in Cameroon and Nigeria.

Many security analysts in Nigeria have said that if this report is confirmed to be true, then, that will boost the operations of Boko Haram because of the magnitude of the amount involved.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa News

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