French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian confirmed on Sunday that a French journalist who disappeared last April in the northern city of Gao, Mali is most likely kidnapped by an Islamist militant in West Africa’s Sahel region.
“Everything leads us to believe he’s the hostage of a jihadist group”, said Le Drian to RTL radio.
Olivier Dubois, French journalist and freelance reporter to the daily Liberation, went missing in the Malian region of Gao on April 8. Dubois was trying to interview Abdallah Ag Albakayea, a local leader of the Al-Qaeda affiliated group Jamaa Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM).
Dubois appeared in a 21-second video shared on social media last Wednesday appealing to authorities to do everything they can to free him from the JNIM
“I’m Olivier Dubois. I’m French. I’m a journalist. I was kidnapped in Gao on April 8 by the JNIM. I’m speaking to my family, my friends, and the French authorities for them to do everything in their power to free me,” said Dubois on video.
French authorities have previously confirmed only Dubois’ disappearance.
Jihadist militants in Mali took Dubois hostage last month, the first French national to be taken hostage since the abduction of French aid worker Sophie Petronin in 2016.