- Cameroonian rebels have freed 10 hostages abducted from an oil vessel in Bakassi peninsular last month.
The hostages, seven of whom were French, two Cameroonian and one Tunisian, were released late yesterday without a ransom being paid after negotiations between kidnappers and Cameroon's officials, government statement said.
The freed hostages were employed by French shipping group, Bourbon, which has confirmed that eight of the crew members - seven French citizens and a Tunisian were in good health.
"I'm so happy, I wasn't expecting this. There were negotiations going on, but it was very quick," said Mayrise Tallec, wife of boat's kidnapped captain.
The rebels had threatened to kill the hostages if Cameroon did not re-open talks on the region's status.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy expressed his relief and thanked Cameroonian government for its help.
The kidnap was carried out by a group calling itself Bakassi Freedom Fighters (BFF), which claims to represent people of Bakassi, a territory that was recently taken over by Cameroon after a legal battle with Nigeria.
Local media reports said group demanded talks with president Biya's government, and on Sunday officials telephoned General AG Basuo of the group's umbrella organisation, Niger Delta Defence and Security Committee (NDDSC).
Mr Basuo confirmed release of hostages but said an attack was only to attract people's attention.
The French nationals and Tunisian flew out to Paris early today on a plane chartered by their employer.
Bakassi peninsula is a 1,000-square-kilometre strip of coastal swamp jutting out from Cameroon-Nigeria border into oil-rich waters of Gulf of Guinea.
Cameroon took its claim to International Court of Justice in March 1994, starting a long legal battle that ended in October 2002, when court awarded its sovereignty to Cameroon.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.