16 June 2021,   23:56
French journalist says kidnapped by jihadists in Mali

Fears grew on Wednesday that another Westerner had been taken hostage in Mali after a French journalist said in a video that he had been seized by a jihadist group linked to Al-Qaeda, writes France24.

The video circulating on social media showing Olivier Dubois, who worked with several French media, could not be immediately verified independently, although Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and an official at the French foreign ministry confirmed he was missing.

In the undated video, which lasts about 20 seconds, Dubois, 46, said he was abducted on April 8 in Gao, central Mali, by the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM), the biggest jihadist alliance in the Sahel.

He is seen seated on the ground on a green sheet, in what could be a tent, dressed in a light pink traditional gown, with his beard trimmed.

Speaking in a firm voice, he asks his family, friends and the French government “to do everything in their power to get me released”.

A foreign ministry official said, “we are in contact with his family and the Malian authorities. We are carrying out the usual technical verifications” of the video.

Dubois had been writing regularly for Liberation, a left-of-centre daily, since April last year. Liberation declined to make any immediate comment.