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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Smoky skies clearing throughout B.C. Interior

Environment Canada expects “widespread” improvement for all affected areas by Sunday

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Kiera Bourque manslaughter trial to next week

The courts heard Friday that Bourque “did not intend to cause harm” but that her actions were “reckless”

COVID-19 minimizes Okanagan Regional Library budget increase

Library adapts to pandemic fiscal disruptions

Interior Health continues to tackle COVID-19

IH president Susan Brown says don’t become complacent about pandemic

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Stranger in truck grabs boy walking home from school in Kelowna

The 11-year-old boy escaped the incident, RCMP are investigating

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read