Chadian And French Forces Rescue Franco-Australian Held Hostage

Conservationist Jerome Hugonot described the “choking moments” of his capture and thanked the soldiers who rescued him.

French special forces, supported by elements of the Chadian armed forces, rescued a Franco-Australian national held hostage by yet to be identified gunmen for forty-eight hours near the Chad-Niger border.

Conservationist Jerome Hugonot arrived the Adji Kossey military base in N’Djamena October 30 and was welcomed by the Chadian Minister of Public Security, Idriss Dokony Adiker, the Minister of Defense, Daoud Yaya Brahim, the Minister of Territorial Administration, Limane Mahamat and the French ambassador to Chad, Bertrand Cochery.

The Franco-Australian veterinarian was abducted on October 28, 2022 in Wadi Fira and on his release said he had bad memories of his time in captivity.

“I passed choking moments while being held with guns pointed at you all the time. You always ask yourself ‘what is going to happen’. But I was sure I would be freed. I knew I was in Chad and that I was not alone. This realisation was reassuring”, Mr. Hugonnot declared as he descended from the plane on arriving N’Djamena.

He thanked the Chadian armed forces for being ready to sacrifice their own lives in order to get him released.

Mr Hugonot was working for the Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) on a project to protect the Oryx, a kind of antelope.

A number of armed groups operate in the border region between Chad and Niger.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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