Obituary: Roger Auque, war correspondent, hostage, diplomat, adventurer

Prominent French journalist and diplomat, died in Paris on Monday at the age of 58.

By JOSEPH STRICH
September 10, 2014 23:11
2 minute read.
Roger Auque

Roger Auque. (photo credit: FACEBOOK)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

PARIS – Roger Auque, a prominent French journalist and diplomat, died in Paris on Monday at the age of 58 after a long battle with brain cancer.

He served as France’s ambassador to Eritrea from 2009 to 2012. He had a close relationship with Israel’s ambassador to Asmara, Guy Feldman, who came to visit him at Val de Grâce, a military hospital in Paris, during his illness.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Auque launched his career as a freelance reporter in Lebanon, and was at that time (the late ’80s) close to Christians from the Phalange movement.

In January 1987, he left his hotel to look for a taxi, and became one of the first Western reporters to be taken hostage by Hezbollah. He was released the following November, after financial negotiations conducted with the Shi’ite terrorist organization by French president Jacques Chirac and his interior minister, Charles Pasqua.

Auque “discovered God” after a jailer gave him a Bible.

He became a devoted Catholic and described himself as proud to be a “friend of Israel.”

Auque was close also to Uri Lubrani, who from 1983 to 2000 was Israel’s governor (coordinator) in South Lebanon. He was also close to Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman, who wrote a chapter on Auque’s captivity in his book The Secret War With Iran: The 30-Year Clandestine Struggle Against the World’s Most Dangerous Terrorist Power (2008).

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


Jean-Louis Normandin, then a journalist for Antenne 2 TV (now France 2), was in Hezbollah captivity with Auque. Normandin told Le Parisien newspaper after hearing of Auque death: “We met in the trunk of a car in Beirut, later we have been freed together, on the same evening..... He was a charmer...always keep smiling... [with] sincerity, enthusiasm, energy.”

Following Auque’s release he was sent to Rome by RTL radio, then covered Africa, the Mideast and Yugoslavia. He also covered Israel for years for a series of magazines – Paris Match, Le Figaro Magazine and VSD.

During the Second Gulf War, he was a correspondent in Baghdad, reporting also for Yediot Aharonot, under the pseudonym Pierre Baudry (using his mother’s maiden name).

He remained in Baghdad until 2006, and then went back to Beirut for two years, before starting to dream about another life, of politics and diplomacy.

This son of a Gaulist father and a Communist mother had strong right-wing convictions.

He won a Paris council seat in 2008, representing the UMP.

Auque authored two books: one on his detention by Hezbollah, and one more general book, which had a chapter on IAF navigator Ron Arad, who went missing in action in Lebanon in 1986 after his plane was shot down.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jamal Khashoggi
November 22, 2018
Denmark halts Saudi weapon export approvals over Khashoggi, Yemen conflict

By REUTERS