Irish wildlife conservation activist killed in Burkina Faso attack

DAKAR — The Irish government confirmed on Wednesday that Rory Young, the founder of an Irish citizen wildlife NGO, was killed by an unidentified armed group along with two Spaniard journalists in an ambush in Burkina Faso this week. did.

According to the Burkina Faso government, three foreigners and members of the Burkina Faso army went missing on Monday after attacks on security forces, forest rangers, and expatriate convoys.

“Mr. Young was part of a group attacked by an unknown assailant in eastern Burkina Faso on Monday morning,” the Irish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said it was in contact with his family and with field authorities and partners.

Spanish journalist David Beriain speaks at Pamplona
Spanish journalist David Beriain will speak at Pamplona, ​​Spain on December 30, 2019. (Jesus Caso / Diario de Navarra via AP)

Young was the co-founder and president of Chengeta Wildlife, a charity that trains poaching prevention rangers in Africa. Born in Zambia, a charity said he devoted his life to wildlife conservation.

He was leading a wildlife conservation patrol in Arli National Park, Burkina Faso, when the team was attacked, Chengeta Wildlife said in a statement. It said the two journalists had documented his efforts to protect wildlife.

The journalists were identified by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez as David Beriain and Roberto Freire, who said they were working on a documentary when they were killed.

Burkina Faso, like much of the Sahel region of West Africa, is in serious security as al-Qaeda-related groups and ISIS terrorist groups intensify attacks on troops and civilians despite the presence of French and UN forces. We are facing a security crisis.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the ambush, and the Burkina Faso government said it had not identified the perpetrators who described it as a “terrorist.”

Nelly Peyton

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