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Humanitarians Abducted 100 Days Ago in Cameroon, Freed in Maiduguri

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Three Cameroonian humanitarian workers affiliated with a French NGO, who were abducted in the jihadist-plagued north of Cameroon, have been released in Nigeria after enduring 100 days in captivity, as confirmed by their organization to AFP.

Olivier Routeau, the head of operations at Premiere Urgence Internationale (PUI), disclosed that the two men and a woman were liberated near Maiduguri in northeastern Nigeria, approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Cameroonian border. Routeau expressed optimism about their well-being, noting that although it’s too early to confirm their health condition, they appear to be safe and unharmed, albeit visibly shaken. He further mentioned receiving photographs of the freed aid workers, who were seen smiling.

“It is a little early to say they are in good health, but they are safe and sound, shaken, but we are reassured about their physical integrity. They were smiling on the photos we were sent”, he said.

Details surrounding their release and the identity of the captors remain undisclosed. However, Routeau revealed that the Nigerian army facilitated their rescue.

The humanitarian workers were abducted on January 10 from the village of Yeme in Cameroon’s Far North region while engaged in activities related to food security and combating malnutrition, according to PUI.

The Far North region of Cameroon and northeastern Nigeria have been ravaged by violence attributed to the Boko Haram jihadist group and its rivals, the Islamic State West Africa Province. These groups frequently perpetrate acts of violence, including abductions for ransom, targeting civilians and aid workers alike.

This incident mirrors a similar occurrence in March 2022 when five employees of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) were freed in Nigeria after being kidnapped in Cameroon’s Far North region a month earlier.

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