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Mali Journalist Found OK

FILE: Aliou Toure, Malian journalist released from captivity. Taken April 10, 2023.

BAMAKO — A Malian journalist who vanished following a press conference he organized last week has been found "safe and sound", according to a crisis group set up by colleagues after his disappearance.

"Aliou Toure, publication director of the newspaper +Le Democrate+, has returned home safe and sound," the crisis group said in a statement on Sunday night.

The group did not explain the circumstances under which Aliou Toure was located.

Toure was reported missing in Bamako on Thursday after an event calling for the release of radio host Mohamed Youssouf Bathily, aka Ras Bath, according to the Collective for the Development of the Republic, for which both men worked.

Toure had taken over Ras Bath's radio programme on Renouveau FM.

Ras Bath was placed in custody on March 13 after claiming former prime minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, who died in detention a year ago, had been "assassinated."

Maiga was prime minister from 2017 to 2019 under president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was overthrown in August 2020 by army officers who run the country to this day.

Dissident voices struggle to be heard in Mali.

Reporters Without Borders recently warned it was becoming increasingly difficult to work as a journalist in the Sahel nation, caught between armed groups, jihadist violence, and pressure from the authorities and the military regime.