Some good news this week for French hostages in Africa as it was confirmed yesterday morning that 63-year-old Francis Collomp was free to rejoin his wife on the Indian Ocean island of Réunion
A hostage with jihadist rebels in Nigeria since December 2012, the French engineer apparently escaped his captors while they were at prayer.
According to one source, it appears that Mr Collomp took advantage of a shoot-out between his jailers and the Nigerian Army:
“They were still praying for about 15 minutes,” said Mr Adeley, “and yesterday, they hadn’t locked the door of his cell. So, while they were praying, he left and started running. He stopped a motorbike-taxi and asked him to take him to the nearest police station.”
By Sunday afternoon, Francis Collomp was in the capital Abuja. He’s reported to be in a weakened state but fit to travel.
“I learned this news directly from the mouth of the President (Hollande), who called me from his plane as he left Israel. It’s a fantastic relief.” So said Denis Collomp, brother of the freed hostage. “It’s a great deliverance.”
This news comes after four French hostages being held in Niger were freed and following the abduction and murder of two French journalists in Mali two weeks ago. At present, there are still seven French hostages being held in Mali, Syria and Niger.
“My husband is a hero!” was the response from his wife Anne-Marie on the island of Réunion. Mr Collomp is currently back on French soil, where he was welcomed by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault this morning.
First Images of Francis Collomp’s release courtesy of BFMTV