“The hour is serious, we are celebrating a very sad anniversary”, lamented Friday April 8 on franceinfo Canèle Bernard, the sister of Olivier Dubois, journalist captured a year ago to the day by a jihadist group in Mali. She wished “sound the alarm” in front of “this captivity that sets in” and lack of communication from the government.
“We have no information, when we ask questions, the government reaffirms its total commitment to free Olivier Dubois, but no information is given to us”she said, while the Quai d’Orsay recalled on Thursday that the “discretion” was here “essential requirement”in matters of kidnapping for terrorism.
“We have the impression that he may be a forgotten hostage”, regretted Canèle Bernard. To curb this feeling and raise awareness of Olivier Dubois’ situation, the journalist’s family produced a video to raise public awareness. Posted on YouTube, it shows the faces of French personalities such as journalists Elise Lucet, Gilles Bouleau and Florence Aubenas (herself a hostage in Iraq in 2005), the rap group IAM or the actor Yvan Attal. This video is accompanied by a petition on Change.org that has garnered over 82,984 signatures, to date. Canèle Bernard thus invited “everyone, all those who wish the return of Olivier Dubois, who is interested in his situation, to sign the petition” for “to be an actor at our level of the liberation of Olivier Dubois”.
“Now we are asking the government to do everything in their power to be able to release Olivier as soon as possible”, she launched. Although a video released last month, showing a man who appears to be the French journalist, gave hope to his family, Canèle Bernard is now waiting for him to be released and “came back physically in front of us” to be reassured. “We are torn every day, every day, between anguish and hope”she summarized.
Olivier Dubois, a 47-year-old freelance journalist who has lived and worked in Mali since 2015, had himself announced his kidnapping in a video broadcast on social networks on May 5, 2021. He explained there that he had been 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-Qaeda. Olivier Dubois is the only French hostage in the world since the release in October 2020 of Sophie Pétronin, also kidnapped in Mali.