Mali: the family of the French hostage Olivier Dubois denounces an “unbearable” silence

Almost nine months after the kidnapping of journalist Olivier Dubois by a jihadist group in Mali, the family of the only French hostage in the world posted a petition on Thursday evening, January 6, demanding his release.

The text, visible on the site, aims to“Alert French citizens of the situation and call on the French and Malian heads of state on his case and ask for his release”, wrote the family in a statement.

Read also The interminable wait for the relatives of journalist Olivier Dubois, kidnapped six months ago in Mali

“We don’t know anything. This lack of information and this silence are unbearable on a daily basis, while Olivier is in an emergency ”, deplore the journalist’s mother, his sister Canèle Bernard and her spouse.

“Our many requests for a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, in order to obtain concrete elements on the steps taken to release Olivier remain unanswered”, they continue.

“Never any news on Olivier”

“The crisis and support center [du ministère des affaires étrangères] is our only relationship with the State, they very rarely appear, unless we contact them ourselves, and explain to us that we never have any news on Olivier ”, say his relatives.

“At the end of December 2021, for the first time, the presidency [française] finally answered us, through his chief of staff, that State services pay the greatest attention to the evolution of Olivier’s situation (…)”, an unsatisfactory response devoid of any empathy and eluding any actions taken ”, indicates the family.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Behind Olivier Dubois’ kidnapping, GSIM, a jihadist group affiliated with Al-Qaida

“In 2022, when the two presidential elections will take place in France as in Mali and the fight against terrorism remains at the heart of these campaigns, this silence with regard to Olivier is all the more astonishing”, she wrote in the online petition.

The 47-year-old freelance journalist, living and working in Mali since 2015, himself announced his kidnapping in a video posted on social media on May 5, explaining that he was kidnapped on April 8 in Gao, in northern Mali, by the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), the main jihadist alliance in the Sahel linked to Al-Qaida.

Since the release in October 2020 of Sophie Pétronin, a septuagenarian kidnapped in December 2016 in Gao also, Olivier Dubois is the only French hostage abroad.

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The World with AFP

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Mali: the family of the French hostage Olivier Dubois denounces an “unbearable” silence