A French journalist, in a video circulating on social media Wednesday, stated he had been kidnapped in Mali in early April by a jihadist group with hyperlinks to Al-Qaeda.

The transient video couldn’t be independently verified, though an official on the French international ministry confirmed that Olivier Dubois, who labored for a number of media, together with the worldwide TV channel France 24 and Liberation every day, was lacking.

In the video, which lasts about 20 seconds, Dubois stated he was kidnapped on April eight within the central area of Gao by the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM), the most important jihadist alliance within the Sahel.

He is seen seated on the bottom, on a inexperienced sheet that might be a tent, wearing a lightweight pink conventional robe, together with his beard trimmed.

The international ministry official stated, “We are in contact with his family and the Malian authorities. We are carrying out the usual technical verifications” of the video.

Liberation, for which Dubois had been writing recurrently since April final 12 months, declined to make any fast remark.

Mali has been struggling to include an Islamist insurgency which first broke out within the north of the nation in 2012 earlier than spreading to the centre and neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

Thousands of individuals have been killed and a whole bunch of 1000’s have fled their properties, whereas the financial impression on one of many world’s poorest international locations has been devastating.

Abductions have been frequent, each of Malians and foreigners.

The final French hostage was Sophie Petronin, a 75-year-old assist employee, who was freed in October final 12 months together with Malian politician Soumaila Cisse, who has since died, and Italians Nicola Chiacchio and Pier Luigi Maccalli.

There has been constant hypothesis {that a} ransom was paid for the 4 hostages, one thing that has by no means been confirmed by the Malian authorities, together with the discharge of 200 prisoners, a few of whom had been jihadists.

In October, Switzerland was knowledgeable that the GSIM had killed an evangelical missionary who had been kidnapped in Timbuktu in January 2016.

In March, the Swiss international ministry stated the lady’s physique had been recovered and formally recognized.


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