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Video Shows French Family Held Hostage, Islamist Captors Threaten Death



PARIS – A video has been posted on YouTube showing members of a French family of seven, including four children, who were taken hostage last week by Boko Haram, the Nigerian Islamist sect.

The three-minute video, which was posted on Monday, shows the French family – two men, a woman and four children aged between five and 12 – surrounded by three masked and armed men.

There is no indication of where or when it was filmed, writes French daily Les Echos. The family was kidnapped on Feb. 19 while on vacation in northern Cameroon.

In the video, the father of the family, identified as Tanguy Moulin-Fournier, reads a declaration in French: “We have been arrested by Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad Boko Haram. They want the liberation of the brothers of Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad imprisoned in Cameroon. They want the liberation of the women of Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad imprisoned in Nigeria.”

One of the armed men speaks in Arabic to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan: “If you want us to free these French people, you should quickly free our women who you are detaining.”

He adds: “We also warn the President of Cameroon to quickly free our brothers detained in his prisons. 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, speaking on French radio RTL on Tuesday, held a firm line. “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,” he said. “It is terrible and horrifying, this is the first time children have been take hostage. It’s unacceptable.”

Speaking about the video, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius denounced “terribly shocking images” that show “cruelty without limits,” reports FranceTV Info.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

A Profound And Simple Reason That Negotiations Are Not An Option For Ukraine

The escalation of war in the Middle East and the stagnation of the Ukrainian counteroffensive have left many leaders in the West, who once supported Ukraine unequivocally, to look toward ceasefire talks with Russia. For Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, Piotr Andrusieczko argues that Ukraine simply cannot afford this.

Photo of Ukrainian soldiers in winter gear, marching behind a tank in a snowy landscape

Ukrainian soldiers ploughing through the snow on the frontlines

Volodymyr Zelensky's official Facebook account
Piotr Andrusieczko


KYIVUkraine is fighting for its very existence, and the war will not end soon. What should be done in the face of this reality? How can Kyiv regain its advantage on the front lines?

It's hard to deny that pessimism has been spreading among supporters of the Ukrainian cause, with some even predicting ultimate defeat for Kyiv. It's difficult to agree with this, considering how this war began and what was at stake. Yes, Ukraine has not won yet, but Ukrainians have no choice for now but to continue fighting.

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These assessments are the result of statements by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, and an interview with him in the British weekly The Economist, where the General analyzes the causes of failures on the front, notes the transition of the war to the positional phase, and, critically, evaluates the prospects and possibilities of breaking the deadlock.

Earlier, an article appeared in the American weekly TIME analyzing the challenges facing President Volodymyr Zelensky. His responses indicate that he is disappointed with the attitude of Western partners, and at the same time remains so determined that, somewhat lying to himself, he unequivocally believes in victory.

Combined, these two publications sparked discussions about the future course of the conflict and whether Ukraine can win at all.

Some people outright predict that what has been known from the beginning will happen: Russia will ultimately win, and Ukraine has already failed.

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