See also:
» 16.04.2010 - How many million Cameroonians?
» 03.03.2010 - Cameroonian journos tortured
» 18.11.2009 - Nigerian fishermen flee Bakassi Peninsula
» 16.10.2009 - Chad expels Cameroon editor
» 12.08.2009 - Cameroon’s Etinde permit gets possible farm-in deal
» 22.07.2009 - Four hostages freed in Cameroon
» 15.07.2009 - CPJ denounces death threats on journalist
» 15.06.2009 - UN to work Bakassi resettlement programme

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10 hostages freed in Cameroon

afrol News, 12 November - Cameroonian rebels have freed 10 hostages abducted from an oil vessel in Bakassi peninsular last month.

The hostages, seven of whom were French, two Cameroonian and one Tunisian, were released late yesterday without a ransom being paid after negotiations between kidnappers and Cameroon's officials, government statement said.

The freed hostages were employed by French shipping group, Bourbon, which has confirmed that eight of the crew members - seven French citizens and a Tunisian were in good health.

"I'm so happy, I wasn't expecting this. There were negotiations going on, but it was very quick," said Mayrise Tallec, wife of boat's kidnapped captain.

The rebels had threatened to kill the hostages if Cameroon did not re-open talks on the region's status.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy expressed his relief and thanked Cameroonian government for its help.

The kidnap was carried out by a group calling itself Bakassi Freedom Fighters (BFF), which claims to represent people of Bakassi, a territory that was recently taken over by Cameroon after a legal battle with Nigeria.

Local media reports said group demanded talks with president Biya's government, and on Sunday officials telephoned General AG Basuo of the group's umbrella organisation, Niger Delta Defence and Security Committee (NDDSC).

Mr Basuo confirmed release of hostages but said an attack was only to attract people's attention.

The French nationals and Tunisian flew out to Paris early today on a plane chartered by their employer.

Bakassi peninsula is a 1,000-square-kilometre strip of coastal swamp jutting out from Cameroon-Nigeria border into oil-rich waters of Gulf of Guinea.

Cameroon took its claim to International Court of Justice in March 1994, starting a long legal battle that ended in October 2002, when court awarded its sovereignty to Cameroon.

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