In order to find the family of seven that has been kidnapped, “French special forces” arrived on Wednesday in northern Cameroon. The French family of seven was kidnapped on Tuesday while visiting Waza National Park. It is assumed that the kidnappers are Islamist militants and have taken the French family, including four children, to Nigeria.
According to a Feb. 20, 2013, World News report, “French special forces arrived in northern Cameroon on Wednesday to try to help locate a French family of seven, including four children, who were kidnapped by people thought to be Islamist militants and taken into Nigeria, officials in Cameroon said.”
The family of seven which included “four children ages 5 to 12,” were in the Waza National Park around 7 a.m. when their vehicle got stuck in the sand near the town of Dabanga, about four miles from the Nigerian border. Waza National Park is a frequent tourist attraction for Western visitors. The father of the family of seven who has been kidnapped works for the utility firm GDF Suez. He is from a family of winemakers in the French Burgundy region.
Even though other park visitors were present at the scene, they were helpless against the armed kidnappers who forced the hostages at gunpoint on their motorcycles and then sped off.
Joseph Dion Ngute, a junior minister at the foreign ministry, stated on French television that in addition to the kidnapped family of seven, the hostage takers also took another woman in her car and fled into Nigeria.
"Our forces and the Nigerian forces were alerted, but before they reacted the kidnappers had vanished." So far it is uncertain as to what had happened to the additional female hostage.
Tuesday’s kidnapping of the French family of seven and the woman is the first case of abductions from the mostly Muslim north of Cameroon, a former French colony.
“The abduction highlights the growing risk of attacks on French nationals and interests in Africa since Paris sent forces into Mali to oust Islamist rebels occupying the country's north.”