AFRICA/BURKINA FASO - "No news yet of the missing priest", says the Bishop of Dori to Fides

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Ouagadougou (Agenzia Fides) - "We have no news of Fr. Joël Yougbaré, parish priest of Djibo since last Sunday", says His Exc. Mgr. Laurent Dabiré, Bishop of Dori, in the north of Burkina Faso, on the border of Mali.
"Research has been going on so far without any results" said Mgr. Dabiré, according to whom nothing can be excluded at the moment: "We do not know what to think. Fr. Joël may have been kidnapped or lost himself along the road or had an accident". The Bishop adds, however, that the area where the priest disappeared is unsafe due to the presence of jihadist groups, and therefore "we are very worried".
What we do know is that after celebrating Sunday Mass in Bottogui, Fr. Joël Yougbaré was returning to his parish along the Djibo-Tongomayel-Nianguel-Sergoussouma-Bottogui road.
Around 4.30 pm, alerted by a catechist who wanted to know if the priest had returned to the parish safely, Fr. Theodore Kpoda, deputy priest of Djibo, tried several times to call Fr. Joël's cell phone.
In mid-February, a Spanish priest and four customs officers were killed in a jihadist attack in eastern Burkina Faso (see Fides 16/2/2019), while an Italian missionary, Fr. Pierluigi Maccalli, priest of the Society for African Missions was kidnapped on 17 September 2018 in Tillaberi. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 20/03/2019)