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

Thousands of cigarette butts collected and recycled from downtown Victoria

Canisters placed throughout the downtown core have made an impact on local litter

Pet photos with Santa funds pair of Greater Victoria animal-friendly organizations

Broadmead Centre Pets West hosts the events Nov. 30 and Dec. 1

Mysterious polaroid camera left along Metchosin trail reveals art project

Artist ‘Jar Binks’ lays claim to waterproof camera

School strike: SD63 says grade 12 students ‘will not lose their graduation year’

Parents, students concerned about educational impact of CUPE 441 strike

Cineplex to show free holiday movies to support Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

Community Day will be on Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m at select theatres

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Birthday boy: Pettersson nets 2 as Canucks beat Predators

Vancouver ends four-game winless skid with 5-3 victory over Nashville

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

Petition for free hospital parking presented to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould

What started as a B.C. campaign became a national issue, organizer said

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

Woman airlifted with serious injuries after being struck by car in Nanaimo

Woman, hit in crosswalk, suffers life-threatening injuries; driver co-operating with police

B.C.’s high gasoline prices still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

At least seven people were spotted on Joffre Lakes, although the ice is not thick enough to be walked on

Most Read