Twelve western tourists who were taken hostage in the South West region by armed assailants have been released.The five Swiss and seven Italian who kidnapped shortly after they set foot on Cameroonian soil have been presented to government official in Yaoundé.The three women and nine men were on a trip to visit the twin lakes in Kupe Maneguba Division in the South West region. Hours after their capture intelligence from community vigilante groups, the local population and units of the Rapid Intervention Unit facilitated the release to the hostages unharmed.The Minister of communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakary told the freed hostages that the government is committed to assuring the security and safety of everyone of Cameroonian soil. He added that Cameroon is a rich tourist destination and the unfortunate incident should not dampen their desire to explore the rich and diverse tourist attractions.The nine men and three women were freed during a military operation carried out by the Rapid Intervention Battalion. The special elite unit of the Cameroon defence force escorted the freed hostages to Yaoundé.They were received by five cabinet Ministers at the Diplomatic Saloon of the Ministry of External Relations in the presence of the Ambassadors of Sweden and Italy in Cameroon. The release of the tourists took place on the same day the Prime Minister Head of Government was chairing National Tourism Board meeting to sell Cameroon’s tourist destinations to the world. The Spokesperson of the government assured the tourist of government solidarity and support while emphasizing of the commitment to protect all.The Minister of Communication was assisted in the meeting with his colleagues of External Relations, Lejeune Mbella Mbella, Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Defence in charge of the National gendarmerie, Yves Landry Galax Etoga, and the Delegate General for National Security, Martin Ngoa Nguelle.Elvis Teke