Tags: robert nitsch eberhard | freed | boko haram

Robert Nitsch Eberhard Freed After 6 Months in Boko Haram Captivity

Image: Robert Nitsch Eberhard Freed After 6 Months in Boko Haram Captivity
Robert Nitsch Eberhard, center, as he arrives at the Yaounde Nsimalen International airport, Yaounde, Cameroon. (AP Photo/Moki Edwin Kindzeka)

By    |   Thursday, 22 Jan 2015 11:28 AM

Robert Nitsch Eberhard, the German teacher who was kidnapped by Boko Haram last July, has been freed by Cameroon armed forces and others, officials confirmed this week.

The release is one of the few reported setbacks for the terrorist group since it has been fighting Nigerian forces and trying to spread its influence in other parts of Africa. BBC News reported that Boko Haram has taken control of numerous villages and towns in northeastern Nigeria and has also begun to extend its raids into neighboring Cameroon.

Eberhard was picked up in July by the terrorist group in Nigeria's Adamawa State, according to the Cameroon government, but was rescued in a "special operation of the Cameroon armed forces and security services of friendly countries," according to BBC News.

The German citizen was flown to Cameroon's capital of Yaoundé from the country's far north region on Wednesday as the nation's president Paul Biya announced the rescue, CNN reported. Eberhard told reporters that he was happy to be freed.

"I am happy to see all these people around me, who have rescued me and made sure that I survived, because until the last minute, I did not know whether I would survive or I would not survive," he told a group of journalists. "It was for me a big problem. Because it was darkness, total darkness, and you see nobody around you. Then this is a big problem to say OK, I will survive or not survive."

Cameroon officials did not give details about the operation that freed Eberhard but Reuters had reported that Biya ordered special forces from his military to the border in an attempt to repel advances by Boko Haram.

Boko Haram has carried out a number of kidnappings in Nigeria and Cameroon, with reports of ransom being paid for some of those hostages.

The organization has also claimed responsibility for the attack on the northeast border town of Baga on Jan. 3, according to The Independent. Amnesty International estimates that as many as 2,000 civilians were killed in the attack while the Nigerian government put the number at 150.

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Robert Nitsch Eberhard, the German teacher who was kidnapped by Boko Haram last July, has been freed by Cameroon armed forces and others, officials confirmed this week.
robert nitsch eberhard, freed, boko haram
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2015-28-22
Thursday, 22 Jan 2015 11:28 AM
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