The family have been in captivity for two months.
After two months in captivity, the French family of seven, including four children, kidnapped in northern Cameroon and taken to Nigeria by suspected Boko Haram militants have been released in Cameroon following secret talks, Cameroon and France said on Friday.
“They are all alive and well,” Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, secretary-general of Cameroon’s presidency, said in a statement carried by state radio.
“I spoke to the father this morning … He told me how happy and relieved he was,” French President Francois Hollande told a news conference in Paris on Friday. “This is an immense relief. This will redouble our determination to free the hostages who remain.”
Mr. Ngoh said the family had been handed over to Cameroon authorities late on Thursday.
The family, which was on holiday, was abducted in February by men on motorcycles, armed with Kalashnikovs in Dabanga about 10 km from the Nigerian border near the Waza national park.
Gunmen claiming to be from Boko Haram later released videos of the family, threatening to kill them if authorities in Nigeria and Cameroon did not release Muslim militants held there.
The parents of the family, which included two boys and two girls as well as another relative, work for French utility firm, GDF Suez.
Eight French hostages remain held by al Qaeda-linked Islamist militant groups in the Sahel region.
Mr. Hollande said there had been contacts over the last few weeks to discreetly free the family under French terms and denied any ransom was paid.
“France has not changed its position, which is not to pay ransoms,” he said.
Both adult males of the family had thick beards while the children looked drawn, and wore flip-flops, knee-length trousers and tee-shirts.
“We are very happy to be released. I want to thank (Cameroon) President Paul Biya for making all the effort to ensure our release,” his tired-looking wife, Albane Moulin-Fournier, said on Cameroon television, holding her smallest child.
State television in Cameroon showed the family descending from a plane where they were greeted on the tarmac by the French ambassador who took them to the embassy in the capital Yaounde.
French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, was due to meet them there, a French official said, and they would return to France as soon as possible.
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