The management of RFI, as well as close colleagues who were working elsewhere in Mali on Saturday, spoke movingly to a sombre gathering at RFI headquarters just outside Paris, of the moments immediately before and after they heard the news.
One of Claude Verlon’s former colleagues described how the Malian president was on two occasions moved to tears while talking of the murders.
Members of the Malian government had paid homage to the French journalists at Bamako airport on Monday evening, before the plane carrying their bodies left for Paris.
President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita had referred to Dupont, who had worked as a correspondent in Africa for many years, as “his own daughter.”
On Sunday evening, hundreds of journalists had marched in silence through the streets of Bamako to pay their respects to the two RFI reporters.
“We organised this silent march to say ‘never again’ - the perpetrators of this crime must be punished,” said Makan Kone, president of the capital’s media association, the Bamako Press House.
MPs in the French lower House of Parliament also observed a minute's silence just after 3 o’clock.
Ghislaine Dupont, 57, and Claude Verlon, 55, were kidnapped and killed outside Kidal in northeastern Mali on Saturday, just after conducting an interview with a Tuareg leader.