French hostage in Somalia appeals to Hollande
A FRENCH secret agent held hostage in Somalia urged President Francois Hollande to negotiate his release in a video shot by his Islamist militia captors, a US monitoring group has said.
"Mr President, I am still alive, but for how long?" Denis Allex says in the footage, which was apparently released by the Shebab, the Somali guerrilla group that has held him for more than three years.
"That depends upon you," he continues. "For if you do not reach an agreement for my release, then I am afraid that this will be the last message you receive from me. My life depends on you."
The four-minute film, which shows a pale but healthy-looking Mr Allex reading a statement in French in front of a plain maroon curtain, was released by SITE, a US-based private service that monitors extremist websites.
In the video, Mr Allex says he is speaking in July, three years after gunmen stormed his hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu and seized him, along with a fellow French officer who has since escaped. (continue reading...)