In October 2014, the Brazzaville Foundation, accompanied by the President of the Republic of Congo and the French, Polish and European authorities, took part in negotiations with a Central African rebel group leading to the release of 26 hostages.
The kidnapping of a catholic priest
- Father Mateusz Dziedzic was kidnapped close to Cameroon border by members of the Democratic Front of the Central African People (FDPC) on the 12 October 2014. The FDPC rebels had also recently kidnapped dozens of civilians, Central African Republic and Cameroon Nationals .
- The Polish priest, Father Mateusz Dziedzic had been living in Central African Republic since 2009, providing pastoral responsibilities and running nursery schools among other social activities.
The terrorist risk
“There was a significant risk that, in the absence of a negotiated solution, the Polish priest and 25 companions in misfortune – 10 Central African Republic citizens and 15 Cameroonians would be handed over to the Nigerian jihadist and terrorist group, Boko Haram .”
Complex and discreet negotiations
- The FDPC leader Abdoulaye Miskine had been arrested in neighbouring Cameroon in September 2013, on suspicion of planning to use it as a base to attack the Central African Republic. From his prison cell in Cameroon, following complex negotiations, he pledged to release the hostages without preconditions.
- After 44 days of captivity, the work of the State and informal actors secured his liberation alongside the 25 other hostages.
“The concerted approach with the Brazzaville Foundation, the President of the Republic of Congo, the Polish, French and European authorities shows that the path towards reconciliation and peace is possible in the Central African Republic.”
More information: Read Karim Meckassoua's testimony in Jeune Afrique.