The family of a 34-year-old Quebec woman travelling in West Africa fears for her safety after not hearing from her for almost three weeks.
Edith Blais and her Italian friend Luca Tacchetto, 30, were travelling by car in the southwest of Burkina Faso when all communication with their families abruptly ended Dec. 15.
Several media have reported their disappearance is being treated as a possible kidnapping, however, neither Blais’ sister, Melanie Bergeron Blais, nor Canadian officials have confirmed this information to Radio Canada International.
“We are aware of reports that a Canadian citizen is missing in Burkina Faso,” said in an email Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Brendan Sutton.
“Canadian officials are in contact with the individual’s family and are providing assistance.”
Canadian government officials in Burkina Faso are also in contact with local authorities to gather additional information, he said.
“The Government of Canada’s first priority is always the safety and security of its citizens,” Sutton said. “For this reason, we will not comment on or release any information which may compromise ongoing efforts or endanger the safety of Canadians.”
Blais, an avid traveller, left her home of Sherbrooke, about 150 kilometres east of Montreal, last year, most recently travelling to Burkina Faso.
Blais and Tacchetto, were last seen in the Burkina Faso city of Bobo-Dioulasso in the country’s southwest, on Dec. 15. They had planned to drive to the capital of Ouagadougou before crossing into neighbouring Togo.
Blais planned to volunteer with a non-governmental organization that works on reforestation and sustainable agriculture projects in Togo.
With files from The Canadian Press