3 November 2013

Africa: Ghislaine Dupont, a Fearless Reporter With a Passion for Africa

Radio France International journalist Ghislaine Dupont was abducted and killed yesterday while reporting in the remote northern Mali town of Kidal.

Dupont, 51, had covered African news for RFI for more than 25 years.

Dupont, known as Gigi by her colleagues, was killed alongside sound engineer Claude Verlon, 58.

This was her second trip to Mali with Verlon.

Last summer, they travelled there to cover the presidential elections and give voice to Malians living in the vast north.

During this time, the country was slowly recovering from a MNLA Tuareg rebellion that had pushed into government controlled territory.

When the elections took place in July after a French-led military operation, Dupont and Verlon were among the few international journalists to report from the former stronghold of the rebellion.

Born in January 1956, Dupont spent several years of her childhood in Africa, a region she covered passionately and with expansive knowledge until her death.

Dupont's reporting took her into the thicket of the UNITA rebels in Angola.

She described the tribulations of Sierra Leoneans living under the control of the Revolutionary United Front.

Spanning nearly three decades, Dupont reported from across the African continent, from Djibouti, Burundi and Ethiopia while at war with Eritrea.

But it was the Democratic Republic of Congo that was her passion and she spent ten years reporting there before being deported just ahead of the first round of presidential elections in 2006.

Even then she continued to report on the DRC from Paris and her stories shed light on the fractures between Paris and Kinshasa, resulting in RFI being banned from the airwaves in the country for over a year.

"She was always pushing us to give our best," said Nicolas Champeaux, one of her colleagues on RFI's Africa desk.

Radio France International expresses its condolences to her family and friends.

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