Olivia Dubois appealed to the French authorities to “do everything in their power” to free her from the hands of the rebel fighters.
A French journalist abducted by rebels in the northern Malian city of Gao last month has appeared in a video urging French authorities to do everything possible to secure his release.
“I am Olivia Dubays. I’m French. I am a journalist. JNIM (an al-Qaeda-linked group) abducted me on April 7 in Gao. I am talking to my family, my friends and the French authorities about doing everything in their power to free me, “Dubois said in a 21-second video shared on social media.
Reuters was not immediately able to confirm the authenticity of the clip.
A source in the French Foreign Ministry confirmed the journalist’s disappearance, saying the ministry was in contact with his family and was conducting a technical check on the authenticity of the video.
Malian authorities were not immediately available for comment.
Dubayis is the first French citizen to be held hostage by Mali rebels since the release of French aid worker Sophie Petronin in October last year. He was abducted near Gao in late 2001.
Several rebel fighters were released in a prisoner swap deal that freed Malian, a veteran politician, and two Italian politicians, Petronin.
France has repeatedly refused to pay a direct ransom for hostages in the past.
The head of Reporters Without Borders said on Twitter that the media freedom agency was aware of Dubai’s disappearance after he did not return to his hotel in Gao after lunch.
Christophe Delaware said he worked for LeBois Magazine and Liberation in France.
“In consultation with the news agencies that hired him, we decided not to announce that he had been held hostage in order to prevent any possible possible outcome,” Deloitte said.
“We urge the Malian and French authorities to do everything possible to secure his release.”
In a 21-second video, French journalist Olivier Dubois claims he was abducted on April 20, 2021, by a “support group for Islam and Muslims.” He addressed his family, friends and authorities to do his best for his release pic.twitter.com/MLqYwCUjRD
– Christophe Delaware (sidelwar) May 5, 2021
Mali has been in turmoil since rebels overthrew the president in a 2012 coup. The power outage eventually led to insurgency and French-led operations that drove rebel fighters out of controlled cities in northern Mali in 2013.
But fighters remain active, and groups linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL have moved from the arid north to more populous central Mali since 2015, targeting targets and creating isolation and violence among ethnic groups in the region.