Boko Haram: Priest Kidnapped in Cameroon Set Free
On Tuesday December 31, the Islamic militia of Boko Haram set free French priest Georges Vandenbeusch following a seven-week captivity.
He arrived in France Wednesday, greeted by President Francois Hollande at an air base near Paris.
Members of the radical Islamist group kidnapped the 42-year-old priest November 13 in Cameroon. The armed men then took him to northern Nigeria where he says he stayed “under a tree for a month and a half.”
Fortunately, Fr Vandenbeusch was not harm but still experienced a lack of compassion the group had for other hostages within his environment.
“The leadership (of Boko Haram) decided to release the priest on compassionate grounds and having benefited from his medical expertise,” a source said within the radical Islamic group.
However, the French priest denied treating any hostages or rebels of the Islamist group.
Initially, Fr Vandenbeusch’s abductors demanded money in return for his freedom, which the French government refused. Instead, they asked of his safe return since he holds a significant title of a clergyman.
Fr Vandenbeusch was released on terms unknown. However, the French government and his captors have denied that his freedom involved a ransom.
Hollande has stated that the French government terminated a previous policy of paying ransoms for captives. However, the release of previous hostages abducted by Boko Haram has been under suspicion.
Six other French nationals still remain in captivity in Syria and Mali.
Since 2009, The Boko Haram Islamic movement has terrorized and killed thousands of Christians. Recently 12 victims were killed in Christian Villages in Northern Nigeria.
Although the country is predominantly a Muslim state, the group “desires to establish a separate Islamic state in Nigeria’s northern states where it can enact an ultra conservative interpretation of Sharia law.”
Unfortunately, the Nigerian government struggles to control the violence perpetrated by Boko Haram and their brutal attacks continue daily in an effort to control the Nigerian government.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told BBC News that the French government hopes violence would soon subside within the country.
“We hope that all forms of violence, hatred and conflict in the tormented regions of Africa be stamped out, as well as elsewhere in the world.”