The Cameroonian government has allegedly paid Boko Haram a $400,000 ransom to free twenty-seven hostages, most notably Francoise Agnes Moukouri, who is the wife of Deputy Prime Minister Amadou Ali, Sahara Reporters has claimed.
The Chinese government allegedly pitched in to help pay the ransom, as ten of its workers were part of the deal, according to the report.
In addition to the $400,000 cash payment, the Cameroonian government also reportedly signed off on releasing four Boko Haram commanders, as well as providing the safe transfer of weapons and ammunition to the jihadi group. President Idriss Deby of neighboring Chad was allegedly a key component of the deal due to his close relations with the militant group.
The office of Cameroon President Paul Biya has said that the 27 hostages, including the Deputy Prime Minister’s wife, have been freed, but have thus far not commented on reports that the government paid a ransom to the Caliphate-seeking Islamist group.
The former hostages were captured during a bloody July 27 attack on Kolofata, a town near the border of Nigeria. The militant group’s jihadi attack left fifteen dead.
One hostage described to the Voice of America the atrocious conditions of living in captivity under the watch of Boko Haram. He said that his group sometimes went days without food or water. The man claimed that he and his fellow abductees were tortured and that men and women were separated into detention camps.
The 2013, GDP per capita in Cameroon was $1,315. The alleged $400,000 ransom payment is approximately the salary of 304 Cameroonian workers.
Boko Haram, which has terrorized much of northeast Nigeria and some of Cameroon, has declared an Islamic Caliphate in the lands it controls. The jihadi group has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocents.