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French journalist kidnapped in Mali pleads for release in video message

May 5 (UPI) -- A French journalist who was kidnapped in Mali called for his release in a video released on Wednesday, Reporters Without Borders said.

The organization shared a 21-second video in which Oliver Dubois, a journalist for Liberation and Point Afrique, said he was abducted by the "Support Group for Islam and Muslims," or JNIM, in Gao in northeastern Mali on April 8.

"We urge the Malian and French authorities to do everything possible to obtain his release and we offer our full support to his family and friends," Arnaud Froger, head of Reporters Without Borders Africa desk, said in a statement.

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The French foreign ministry confirmed Dubois' disappearance but the video is still in the process of being authenticated.

Reporters Without Borders said it was informed of Dubois' kidnapping two days after he went missing when he failed to return to the Malian capital after going out for lunch.

However, the organization decided in conjunction with Dubois' editors to not report his abduction "in order to not hamper the possibility of a rapid positive outcome."

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Reporters Without Borders noted that the presence of armed groups in Africa's Sahel area are "making journalism extremely dangerous there," citing the killings of Spanish journalists David Beriain and Roberto Fraile in Burkina Faso late last month.

"Coming just 10 days after two Spanish journalists were killed in neighboring Burkina Faso, the report of this reporter's abduction is another cruel blow to journalism in the Sahel," said Froger.

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