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Africa

Hollande meets with relatives of RFI journalists killed in Mali

media Apollonia, the daughter of Claude Verlon, viewing her father's name on a monument dedicated to journalists killed in war, in October 2014 RFI

Relatives of the two Radio France Internationale journalists killed in Mali in 2013 met with French President Francois Hollande this weekend to discuss difficulties in the investigation of the murders.

"We could challenge President Francois Hollande on many questions we ask ourselves about 21 months after the double murder” of Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon in Kidal, the association Friends of Ghislaine Dupont said in a statement.

Dupont’s mother, Marie-Solange Poinsot, had sent an open letter to the French president in early July, along with comments from Verlon’s daughter and sister.

"Regarding the role of the military and French intelligence services, the president said that he would authorise the declassification of all documents requested by the investigating judges," said the association, adding that "this could be done in the next two months."

Their relatives want information on "the specific circumstances of the intervention of the French military after the kidnapping."

In May, "two of the main leaders" of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Ansar Dine were killed by French special forces. Amada Ag Hama, known as Abdelkrim al-Targui, had claimed he ordered gunmen to abduct and murder Dupont, 57, and Verlon, 55, while they were covering the run-up to legislative elections in the country.

“How can we wait for justice if the different suspects are killed one after the other?" the association said.

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