Photograph of French journalist Olivier Dubois while reporting in Nioro, Mali, on Sept. 14, 2020, via AFP/Michele Cattani
Photograph of French journalist Olivier Dubois while reporting in Nioro, Mali, on Sept. 14, 2020, via AFP/Michele Cattani

A French journalist Olivier Dubois kidnapped last month while working in Mali’s northern city of Gao, is appealing to regain his freedom. 

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on May 7 expressed concerns for  Dubois’ safety and called on any party holding him in custody to release him immediately and without harm.

“Dubois’ abduction is a reminder that journalists covering the Sahel region face an extremely high threat of abduction, and work under very dangerous circumstances,” said Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator.

The journalist’s abduction was made public in a video uploaded to the internet where he confirmed his abduction by the Jama’at Nusrat al Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM), an al-Qaida-linked group.

“I’m Olivier Dubois. I’m French. I’m a journalist. I was kidnapped in Gao on April 8 by the JNIM (an al-Qaeda-linked group),” Dubois said in the video.

“I’m speaking to my family, my friends and the French authorities for them to do everything in their power to free me.” 

The French government in a press briefing confirmed the disappearance of the journalist and stated that authorities were in contact with his family as well as with the Malian authorities.

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Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Education from the University of Abuja.