A 20-year-old Frenchman, Christia Masse, has returned to Paris after being held hostage for almost three months by guerrillas in the Central African state of Chad.
A 20-year-old Frenchman, Christia Masse, has returned to Paris after being held hostage for almost three months by guerrillas in the Central African state of Chad. M. Masse, who was seized with his Swiss companion Pierre-Andre Kummerling while on holiday, told reporters he never believed the rebels would carry out their threat to kill him
SYNOPSIS: There was a large crowd at the airport on Sunday (16 April) to greet Christian Masse. The Frolinat or National Liberation Front guerrillas demanded two million dollars for the release of each hostage, but the French and Swiss foreign ministries say no ransom was paid. The kidnappers, fighting Chad Government troops for control of the central African country, had hoped to put pressure on France's military involvement in the area.
M. Masse, looking suntanned and fit, told newsmen he was held on an island on Lake Chad, but he was allowed to go hunting and to roam free. Ha and his 27-year-old companion, Mr. Kummerling, an electrical technician, were released after mediation by the Nigerian Government. The two men were freed on Friday (14 April) by the guerrillas at the Chad-Nigeria border.
M. Masse told reporters, "I knew efforts were being made to free me, and the rebels with whom I had contact did not try to win me over to their case, although they jokingly proposed that I join their army".