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Journalist arrives back in France after two years of captivity in Mali

French journalist, Olivier Dubois, greeted at the airport by his sister   -  
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French journalist, Olivier Dubois, arrived back in France on Tuesday after his release by Islamic extremists in Mali who had held him captive for nearly two years.

He was reunited with his sister and father at the Villacoublay military airport near Paris, where he was welcomed by President Emmanuel Macron.

Dubois was captured in April 2021 from northern Mali, a region wracked by jihadi violence linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group.

He had been working with the daily Libération and the magazine Le Point, among others, and had been living in Mali since 2015.

The 48-year-old reporter was the last Frenchman known to be held hostage by a non-state organisation since the October 2020 release of aid worker, Sophie Pétronin, who was also kidnapped in Mali.

He arrived in the Niger capital, Niamey, on Monday after being freed together with the 61-year-old humanitarian aid worker, Jeffery Woodke, who was kidnapped in south-west Niger in October 2016.

The conditions of their release have not been disclosed.

“After several months of effort, the Nigerian authorities obtained the liberation of two hostages held by Jama'at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin,” said Nigerien Interior Minister, Hamadou Adamou Souley, at the airport.

Without making any further comment on the government's role in their release, he said the two men had been picked up by the Nigerien authorities before being handed over to the French and American authorities.

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