French priest Georges Vandenbeusch, kidnapped by gunmen in northern Cameroon, was able to alert the French authorities ahead of his capture.
Gerard Daucourt, the Bishop of Nanterre Diocese, told journalists what he understood had taken place: “The kidnappers, about 15 of them, arrived at night without a car. They first searched the house of the nuns which was a bit further, looking for money, but there wasn’t any.”
Daucourt continued “maybe they knocked at the door, but in any case they wanted to get in – and Father Georges noticed that and had the time to call the embassy over the phone.”
42 year old Vandenbeusch left his parish in a Parisian suburb to work in a volatile region near Cameroon’s border with Nigeria. The Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, is known to operate in the area.
The French authorities said they had warned its citizens to leave what it considers a high-risk region, but that the priest insisted on staying to complete his mission.
Boko Haram kidnapped a French family in the same area nine months ago.