French journalist Olivier Dubois is seen in Nioro, Mali, on September 14, 2020. He recently went missing in Mali's Gao region, and was seen in an unverified video saying that he had been kidnapped by a jihadist group. (AFP/Michele Cattani)

CPJ expresses concern over French journalist Olivier Dubois, missing in Mali

New York, May 5, 2021 — In response to news reports that French journalist Olivier Dubois has been kidnapped while reporting in central Mali, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement:

“We are extremely concerned for the safety of journalist Olivier Dubois and urge Malian and French authorities to thoroughly investigate his disappearance,” said Angela Quintal, CPJ’s African program coordinator. “Too often, the disappearance of a journalist is followed by tragedy and unanswered questions. We hope this is not the case here.”

Dubois reported regularly for the French newspaper Liberation, which reported that he had recently pitched a story about a militant jihadist group in the Gao region. Those news reports state that Dubois went missing in Gao on April 8, and he was subsequently seen in a video released recently, in which he stated that he was in the custody of Jamaa Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin, an Al-Qaeda affiliate. The video could not be immediately verified and it was unclear when it was recorded, those reports said.

A statement posted today on the French government’s website said, “We confirm the disappearance in Mali of Mr. Olivier Dubois. We are in contact with his family as well as with the Malian authorities. We are carrying out the usual technical verifications [of the video].”