A French foreign ministry spokesman denied reports on Thursday that the hostages, who include four children kidnapped in Cameroon two days ago, have been freed, following international confusion over the fate of the hostages.
“We cannot confirm this morning’s information that [the hostages] were free,” Didier Le Bret, the director of the crisis cell at the ministry told France 24. “We contacted the families of the hostages to tell them that we had no information that supported the claims”.
France 24 had earlier on Thursday, quoting military sources in Cameroon France’s veteran minister, reported that the hostages have been freed in Nigeria.
French special forces are however in Cameroon to help free the hostages. The special forces arrived in the country on Wednesday from their regional base in neighbouring Chad to help with the hostage situation
“French special forces came in yesterday from N’Djamena to help with the investigation. They left yesterday and came back today,” Augustine Fonka Awa, Governor of Cameroon’s Far North Region told the Reuters news agency by telephone.
The French government believes the hostages were crossed into Nigeria, and kidnapped by the Boko Haram insurgent group that operates in Northern Nigeria.