Edith Blais of Quebec and her travel companion, Luca Taccheto of Italy, went missing in December while travelling in Burkina Faso. (The Canadian Press)

Missing Canadian Edith Blais was kidnapped, taken to Mali: Human Rights Watch

Edith Blais of Quebec and her travel companion, Luca Taccheto of Italy, went missing in December

A Canadian woman who’s been missing in West Africa for several months has reportedly been kidnapped and taken to Mali.

Edith Blais of Quebec and her travel companion, Luca Taccheto of Italy, went missing in December while travelling in Burkina Faso.

They were travelling by car in southwestern Burkina Faso en route to Togo, where they planned to do volunteer work with an aid group.

In a January statement, Burkina Faso’s government referred to the pair’s disappearance as a kidnapping.

The Canadian government did not confirm the information, but said it was not ruling out any possibilities.

However, a recent report by Human Rights Watch indicates that they were indeed abducted.

“While no armed Islamist group has taken responsibility for their abduction, they are believed to have been kidnapped and later taken to Mali,” the report, titled “Abuses by Armed Islamist Groups in Burkina Faso’s Sahel Region,” states. It cites an interview with Malian security sources on Jan. 13.

The report, published March 22 on the organization’s website, does not mention the fate of the two travellers.

In January, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he believed Blais was still alive.

“As far as we know, she is,” Trudeau said when asked by a reporter whether Blais was still alive. He said Blais’ story has people across the country preoccupied.

“Our hearts go out to the family of Edith Blais and the entire community,” he said at the time.

His statement came the day after another Canadian, Kirk Woodman, was found dead in northern Burkina Faso, close to the border with Mali and Niger. An executive with a Vancouver-based mining company, Woodman had been kidnapped a day earlier by gunmen as he worked on a gold mining project.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

AIM Roads Inc. helps improve access to Malakwa Community Park

Project was a team effort with AIM and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District

Court hears man’s multiple property crimes in Shuswap fueled by addiction

Accused completes sentence, states he’s ready to do good things

Santa Claus escape room planned for Pritchard Hall

Players must find their way out of three puzzle-filled rooms

Rocky start to Rider Express’ first year operating in B.C.

Company hopes to add a night bus between Vancouver and Calgary

Man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting also charged with arson

Parmenter family home badly damaged by fire a month before killing

Syilx language program comes to West Kelowna

The course was first offered in Penticton

BC Ferries’ two new hybrid vessels set sail for B.C. from Romania

Two Island Class ferries to be in use by 2020

Penticton council fed up with non-compliant property owner

“I’m deeply offended, as I think all of Penticton is, and especially the neighbours.”

Distracted driving tickets not for ICBC revenue, B.C. minister says

Minister Mike Farnworth calls SenseBC analysis ‘nonsense’

CN Rail strike and lack of trucking alternatives stoke forest industry fears

Companies calling on the federal government to ‘do everything in its power’ to end the strike

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveils new Liberal cabinet

Pivotal role in his new cabinet for a minority-government era goes to Chrystia Freeland

Osoyoos driver admits being ‘drunk’ after crashing into pole

A 52-year-old Osoyoos man admits being drunk after hitting power pole

Penticton council to hear case for declaring a climate emergency in the new year

The newly formed Sustainability Committee has been directed to look at the idea

Most Read