French journalist Dubois freed after 23-month abduction in Mali


French journalist Olivier Dubois, who was kidnapped by armed groups in the Sahel nearly two years ago, was released on Monday, according to an AFP journalist and a representative of Liberation newspaper where he worked.

Dubois, who went missing in Mali in 2021, arrived on a plane at the airport in Niamey in neighbouring Niger on Monday. He emerged looking tired, but smiling.

He was the first French national to be taken hostage by rebels in Mali since French aid worker Sophie Petronin was freed in October 2020. She had been abducted near Gao in Mali in late 2016.

Scores of rebel fighters were released in 2020 in a prisoner swap deal that liberated Petronin, a senior Malian politician and two Italians.

Dubois worked for Liberation and Le Point magazine, both France-based publications.

He had appeared in a video early May 2022, appealing to authorities to do everything they could to free him from the armed groups holding him.

“We are deeply relieved and happy about this outcome,” Liberation director Dov Alfon said.

More details to come …

Olivier Dubois has been held by armed groups since he went missing in the Sahel in 2021.

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