© Fides

Burkina Faso: No News of Missing Priest

Fr. Joël Yougbaré, Parish Priest of Djibo

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“We have no news of Fr. Joël Yougbaré, parish priest of Djibo since last Sunday,” said Bishop Laurent Dabiré of Dori, in the north of Burkina Faso, on the border of Mali.
“Research has been going on so far without any results,” the bishop said, as reported March 20, 2019, by Fides News Agency. “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 is known 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,  while an Italian missionary, Fr. Pierluigi Maccalli, priest of the Society for African Missions was kidnapped on September 17, 2018, in Tillaberi.

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