French-Australian citizen abducted in Chad freed

French-Australian citizen abducted in Chad freed

Chad Sunday announced the release of Jérôme Hugonnot, a French-Australian citizen, kidnapped Friday by unidentified men in Wadi Fira province, north-east of the central African country.

“I have just learned that the French-Australian hostage kidnapped 24 hours ago has just been found and taken to safety, in good health,” Prime Minister of Chad, Saleh Kebzabo, said on Twitter.

“I congratulate our defense and security forces for this prompt and successful action,” he added.

Hugonnot is the manager of Oryx Park controlled by Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF), a non-profit organization established in 2004 to address the largely-ignored and catastrophic wave of extinction threatening the large bird and mammal fauna in Africa.

It is unclear if any ransom was paid but Chad security and human means were mobilized to secure Hugonnot’s release. Action Humanitaire Africaine (AHA), an NGO, also operating in the country, said the region is welcoming, pleasant and safe.

AHA, on Twitter expressed regret for the incident and hoped the abduction will not impede the work of Sahara Conservation Fund.

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