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Cameroon – North: Mayor of Lagdo and 14 other hostages freed after 16 months in captivity

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Written by Deckson N.

One of the hostages died of an illness according to the released hostages.

The mayor of Lagdo, Mama Abakaï, and the other 15 Cameroonian hostages who were detained in Central African Republic since March 19, 2015 have just been released and will be in Cameroon in the coming hours.

The family members of the former hostages who are in Lagdo confirmed the release. “Our sister called us this Sunday from Bangui to announce that they have been released, but they are at the MINUSCA camp (Integrated Multidimensional United Nations Mission in Central Africa for stabilization) pending repatriation in Cameroon” informs the younger sister of one of the former hostages.

Mariam Abakaï lacked words to express her feelings following the release of her father, Mayor of Lagdo. “I am happy to announce the release of my father Mr. Mama Abakaï. Al Hamdulillah! I finally found my real smile, “she responded on Sunday when the good news invaded the town of Lagdo.

According to military authorities contacted in the Eastern Region, the hostages escaped following an argument between two rebel groups in Central African Republic. “There was an argument on Friday between two rebel groups among whom was the group that held the Lagdo hostages. The hostages took advantage of the dispute to flee to Bangui. Once in Bangui, they were recovered by the forces of the MINUSCA” says our source.

In Garoua as Lagdo, where the hostages are strongly expected, local authorities say that one of the hostages have died while in custody from an illness. “Instead of 16 people, we will accommodate 15. The hostages are already in the hands of the forces of the MINUSCA in CAR, two of them have even been received in Yaounde. When all conditions are met, the hostages will immediately regain Lagdo “says our source.

To recall, the Mayor of Lagdo and fifteen other people in the same town had been kidnapped in Garoua-Boulaï on March 19, 2015 while returning from a funeral in Bertoua. Their abductors had demanded a ransom of FCFA 3 billion and the release of Abubakar Siddiki detained in the DGRE (Directorate General of External Research) in Yaounde. These kidnappers whose claims had not been favorably had decided to keep hostages as long as possible.

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Deckson N.

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