According to Reporters Without Borders, a French journalist abducted in Mali demanded his release in a video released on Wednesday.
The organization shared a 21-second video in which Oliver Dubois, a journalist for Liberation and Point Afrique, said he was abducted by the “Support Group for Islam and Muslims,” or JNIM, in Gao in northeastern Mali on April 8.
“We urge the Malian and French authorities to do everything possible to obtain his release and we offer our full support to his family and friends,” Arnaud Froger, head of Reporters Without Borders Africa desk, said in a statement.
The French foreign ministry announced Dubois’ disappearance, but the video is still being verified.
Reporters Without Borders said it learned about Dubois’ abduction two days after he went missing after failing to return to Mali’s capital after going out for lunch.
However, the organization decided in conjunction with Dubois’ editors to not report his abduction “in order to not hamper the possibility of a rapid positive outcome.”
According to Reporters Without Borders, the involvement of militant groups in Africa’s Sahel region “making journalism extremely dangerous there,” citing the deaths of Spanish journalists David Beriain and Roberto Fraile in Burkina Faso late last month.
“Coming just 10 days after two Spanish journalists were killed in neighbouring Burkina Faso, the report of this reporter’s abduction is another cruel blow to journalism in the Sahel,” said Froger.
🇫🇷 ALERTE INFO – Olivier #Dubois, journaliste correspondant pour l’hebdomadaire Le Point a été enlevé à #Gao au #Mali, le 8 avril 2021 par AQMI un groupe affilié à Al-Qaïda. Il demande à la #France de faire “tout ce qui est en son pouvoir” pour le libérer. (Le Figaro) pic.twitter.com/XKYHHSe91E
— Mediavenir (@Mediavenir) May 5, 2021