A Cork-man who is the Pope’s representative in Burkino Faso has extended his “deepest sympathies” after a Zambian-born Irish citizen was killed by terrorists in the African country.
Conservationist Rory Young, co-founder and president of anti-poaching organisation Chengeta Wildlife was killed on Monday while leading a wildlife protection patrol in Arly National Park,
He was killed along with two Spanish journalists, David Beriain (44) and Roberto Fraile (47). They were covering his efforts to protect wildlife.
“I was very saddened to hear that an Irish national and two Spanish journalists lost their lives while travelling in the East Region of Burkina Faso,” said Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Michael Crotty, who is originally from Mitchelstown, Co. Cork.
“Praying that the Lord may grant them eternal rest, I wish to extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to their families, friends and colleagues,” he said.
“Their death is a tragic reminder of the reality of the violence that affects so many people in West Africa. While we condemn such violence, and pray for justice for the victims, we renew our heartfelt prayers to the Lord peace and for the end to all violence.”
The government of Burkino Faso said they were 15km from their base at the eastern town of Natiaboni when they were attacked. Yendifimba Jean-Claude Louari, the mayor of Fada N’gourma, said that a large operation was under way to locate them.
Groups with links to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda are worsening the security crisis Burkino Faso faces. Despite help from French and UN forces the terrorist groups continue to launch attacks against the army and civilians.
In an interview with This Wild Life Conservation Podcast, released last week, Mr Young spoke of conducting anti-poaching operations in conflict areas, such as Burkina Faso, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon.