- The Quai d’Orsay confirmed this Wednesday morning the disappearance in Mali of French journalist Olivier Dubois.
- Earlier in the morning, a video broadcast on the networks showed him claiming to have been kidnapped by a jihadist group in the north of the country.
- In this short video, he says he was kidnapped by the Support Group for Islam and Muslims.
This Wednesday, an official of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris confirmed the “disappearance” of French journalist Olivier Dubois. Earlier in the morning, a video circulating on social networks showed the collaborator of various media, claiming to have been kidnapped in early April in Mali by jihadists affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
Sitting on the ground, his legs crossed on a green canvas, in what appears to be a tent, he says to address his family, his friends and the French authorities “so that they do everything in their power. power to have him released ”.
What happened ?
According to Christophe Deloire, Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders, “Olivier Dubois was reporting in Gao in Mali. On April 8, he did not return to his hotel after lunch, ”the latter wrote on Twitter. “We were informed two days after his disappearance. In consultation with the editorial staff who usually employ him, we have taken the decision not to make this hostage-taking public, so as not to hinder a possible rapid positive outcome, ”he adds, asking the Malian authorities. and French to “do everything possible to obtain his release”.
In the brief video of about twenty seconds broadcast on the networks this Wednesday, but whose provenance is unknown, Olivier Dubois explains that he was kidnapped on April 8 in Gao (north) by the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM).
Who is Olivier Dubois?
This 46-year-old freelance journalist is “based in Mali, Bamako, since August 2015”, as he indicates on his professional LinkedIn account. Co-author and co-director of Poilorama, web documentary series for ARTE Créative, Olivier Dubois explains covering “Malian national news, more particularly on the subjects of security, terrorism and the implementation of the Algiers peace agreement”.
“This seasoned journalist who usually works for Africa Point and Release knew this very dangerous region well, ”Christophe Deloire continued on Twitter. In these last two articles made for Point, Olivier Dubois had gone on a report alongside the autonomous organization for the fight against jihadists in Mali Dan Na Ambassagou.
The daily Release, just like the magazine Point for which he worked regularly, indicated that they did not wish to comment immediately.
Who is the Support Group for Islam and Muslims?
Said the GSIM, or Jnim in Arabic, the Support Group for Islam and Muslims would be, according to the journalist in the video, the author of the kidnapping according to Olivier Dubois in the video. Born in March 2017 from the merger of several groups in the Sahel, the group presents itself “as the largest gathering of jihadists in the region”.
The group led by Malian Iyad Ag Ghaly was involved in the detention of several Westerners, including Sophie Pétronin. He rose to prominence in 2018 after claiming responsibility for the double attack on Ouagadougou, which left eight security forces dead in the Burkinabè capital.
Where is the investigation?
“We are in contact with his family as well as with the Malian authorities. We are carrying out the usual technical verifications ”, told 20 Minutes the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
There were no more French hostages in the world since the release in October 2020 of Sophie Pétronin, a septuagenarian kidnapped almost four years earlier by armed men in Gao as well, where she had lived and headed for years an organization of aid to children.