It is a really good news that America and France got one week ago: French journalist Olivier Dubois and American aid worker Jeffery Woodke, kidnapped in Africa a couple of years ago, were set free and got back home!
Olivier Dubois, a French journalist working for magazines and newspapers like Libération, Jeune Afrique and Le Point, was kidnapped in Mali on April 8, 2021 in the Gao region (in the north of the country). Almost two years as a hostage for the one who was going to interview a jihadist chief when he was kidnapped by the Jnim, a jihadist group who supports Al-Qaeda in Sahel.
American hostage Jeffery Woodke was kidnapped in Niger in October 2016, which makes it a detention that lasted six years and a half (!). the humanitarian worker was helping local populations by the means of an NGO settled down in Abalak when he was kidnapped.
Both former hostages were sent to Niamey airport before going back to their respective countries, a genuine relief for the families, the French and the US authorities, and a positive signal for all hostages still detained all over the world even though there is no French one any more (Dubois was the last French hostage identified in the world).
A relief for everyone, and the demonstration that efforts must not be given up even though people have been kidnapped for a couple of years, which can sound difficult to overcome sometimes. Both hostages were set free exhausted but fit and healthy, and Dubois asserted that he was not mistreated nor beaten by the ones who kept him detained for practically two years.
Such a positive event is always the opportunity to highlight the difficult work of journalists sent abroad in risky regions, either at war or unsafe, in Africa, in the Middle East, in Easter Europe and anywhere else on the planet.