LES ECHOS, RTL, FRANCETV INFO (France)

Worldcrunch

PARIS – A video has been posted on YouTube showing members of a French family of seven, including four children, who were taken hostage last week by Boko Haram, the Nigerian Islamist sect.

The three-minute video, which was posted on Monday, shows the French family – two men, a woman and four children aged between five and 12 – surrounded by three masked and armed men.

There is no indication of where or when it was filmed, writes French daily Les Echos. The family was kidnapped on Feb. 19 while on vacation in northern Cameroon.

In the video, the father of the family, identified as Tanguy Moulin-Fournier, reads a declaration in French: “We have been arrested by Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad [Boko Haram]. They want the liberation of the brothers of Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad imprisoned in Cameroon. They want the liberation of the women of Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad imprisoned in Nigeria.” 

One of the armed men speaks in Arabic to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan: “If you want us to free these French people, you should quickly free our women who you are detaining.”

He adds: “We also warn the President of Cameroon to quickly free our brothers detained in his prisons. If our demands – all of them, without exception – aren’t met, we will kill those who we have captured. The French President has launched a war on Islam and we will fight him everywhere.” 

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, speaking on French radio RTL on Tuesday, held a firm line. “We do not negotiate with these groups, in these conditions. We will use all means possible to make sure these hostages, and others, are liberated,” he said. “It is terrible and horrifying, this is the first time children have been take hostage. It’s unacceptable.” 

Speaking about the video, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius denounced “terribly shocking images” that show “cruelty without limits,” reports FranceTV Info