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French journalist kidnapped in Mali pleads for assist in video

CNN has been unable to independently confirm the video and it was not clear when it was filmed.

Within the 21-second clip, Olivier Dubois identifies himself earlier than saying he was kidnapped in Gao, a city in central Mali, on April eight by a neighborhood Islamist group affiliated al Qaeda that is named JNIM, an acronym for the Group for the Assist of Islam and Muslims.

“I am chatting with my household, my buddies and the French authorities for them to do all the pieces of their energy to free me,” he mentioned, sitting barefoot in what seems to be a tent.

Each the French international ministry and the French authorities spokesman confirmed Dubois had “disappeared in Mali,” and that authorities have been finishing up technical verifications of the video.

In a information convention Wednesday, French authorities spokesman Gabriel Attal addressed Dubois’ disappearance, however he didn’t the determine the abductors and mentioned that French authorities have been working to verify the clip’s authenticity.

“We’re in touch together with his household and we’re working with the Malian authorities,” Attal mentioned. “Our ideas are together with his family members and the information organizations he labored with.”

Dubois is a correspondent primarily based in Mali and within the Sahel, the place he studies frequently for a number of French media shops, together with the journal Le Level and the newspaper Libération.

He had lately pitched a narrative a few militant jihadist group within the Gao area, Libération reported.
Reporters With out Borders (RSF) mentioned it was knowledgeable of Dubois’ disappearance two days after he went lacking, however didn’t make his abduction public in order to not hinder “the potential for a fast optimistic consequence.”

“An skilled reporter who is aware of the area effectively, he went to this very harmful space within the east of the nation on his personal initiative,” RSF mentioned on Twitter, urging the French authorities to do all the pieces of their energy to get him launched.

The Committee to Shield Journalists (CPJ) has additionally urged motion.

“We’re extraordinarily involved for the protection of journalist Olivier Dubois and urge Malian and French authorities to completely examine his disappearance,” mentioned Angela Quintal, CPJ’s African program coordinator. “Too typically, the disappearance of a journalist is adopted by tragedy and unanswered questions. We hope this isn’t the case right here.”

French support employee Sophie Petronin was freed in October final 12 months after she was kidnapped close to Gao in 2016.

France has repeatedly denied paying ransoms to Islamist teams for hostages up to now.

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