Cameroon said Wednesday its forces have freed a German hostage kidnapped six months ago in Nigeria by Boko Haram, as African leaders appealed to the United Nations for support in fighting the Islamist militants.
“A special operation led by Cameroonian armed forces along with security services of friendly nations succeeded this night (Tuesday) in freeing Nitsch Eberhard Robert, a German citizen abducted in Nigeria in July 2014 by the Boko Haram sect,” the Cameroon presidency said in a statement.
A spokesman for the German foreign ministry confirmed the man’s release, adding that he was now in Cameroon’s capital Yaounde.
Boko Haram claimed in an October 2014 video it had captured a German man, who local residents said was a teacher at a government-run technical training centre.
Analysts say the Islamists have increasingly sought to fund their brutal six-year insurgency through ransom kidnappings, targeting primarily wealthy Nigerians, but also foreigners.
No further details were immediately available about the Cameroon raid, including where it took place.
The hostage release was announced a day after Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau mocked African leaders meeting in Niger to try to forge a united front against the Islamists. “African kings… I challenge you to attack me now. I am ready.”