When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Enjoy unlimited access to quality journalism.

Limited time offer

Get your 30-day free trial!

LE PARISIEN, LES ECHOS (France), LE JOURNAL DU CAMEROUN (Cameroon)

Worldcrunch

YAOUNDE – Seven members of a French family kidnapped in February while holidaying in northern Cameroon were freed on Friday.

The Cameroonian government and the French government both issued statements on Friday saying the father, mother, uncle and four children aged between five and 12 years old had been released and were in good health, reports Les Echos.

C’est avec un immense soulagement que le président confirme la libération de la famille MOULIN-FOURNIER au Cameroun elysee.fr/communiques-de…
— Élysée (@Elysee) April 19, 2013

The family had been abducted while visiting the Waza National Park in northern Cameroon. They were identified as the Moulin-Fournier family, who were posted in Yaounde, the Cameroon capital for French gas firm GDF Suez, reports Le Journal du Cameroun.

Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, and asked for the liberation of its militants imprisoned in Nigeria and Cameroon.

Boko Haram, which has ties to al-Qaeda, is responsible for thousands of deaths in Nigeria and at least 28 suicide bombings.

In a video put online by the Islamist group, one of the militants had said “If our demands – all of them, without exception – aren’t met, we will kill those who we have captured. The French President has launched a war on Islam and we will fight him everywhere.”

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had answered by saying “We do not negotiate with these groups, in these conditions. We will use all means possible to make sure these hostages, and others, are liberated.”

It is not known how the family was freed, although GDF Suez CEO Gerard Mastrallet said the hostages were freed in a military operation.

French President François Hollande said his country had not paid a ransom for the family’s release, reports Le Parisien. Hollande said he had spoken to the father of the family on the phone and that they were healthy, relieved and very happy. “It’s good news, a huge relief,” said the president.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Ideas

How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

American and Southwest Airlines have been refusing to allow Cubans on board flights if they've been blacklisted by the government in Havana.

How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

Boarding a plane in Camaguey, Cuba

Santiago Villa

On Sunday, American Airlines refused to let Cuban writer Carlos Manuel Álvarez board a Miami flight bound for Havana. It was at least the third time this year that a U.S. airline refused to let Cubans on board to return to their homeland after Havana circulated a government "blacklist" of critics of the regime. Clearly undemocratic and possibly illegal under U.S. law, the airlines want to make sure to cash in on a lucrative travel route, writes Colombian journalist Santiago Villa:

-OpEd-

Imagine for a moment that you left your home country years ago because you couldn't properly pursue your chosen career there. It wasn't easy, of course: Your profession is not just singularly demanding, but even at the top of the game you might not be assured a stable or sufficient income, and you've had to take on second jobs, working in bars and restaurants.

This chosen vocation is that of a writer or journalist, or perhaps an artist, which has kept you tied to your homeland, often the subject of your work, even if you don't live there anymore.

Since leaving, you've been back home several times, though not so much for work. Because if you did, you would be followed in cars and receive phone calls to let you know you are being watched.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest