Prime Minister Justin Trudeau believes Canadian woman missing in Burkina Faso is still alive
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he believes a Quebec woman who has been missing for more than a month in Burkina Faso is still alive.
“As far as we know, she is,” Trudeau said when asked by a reporter on Friday whether Edith Blais was still alive.
The 34-year-old Blais and her travel companion, Luca Tachetto, 30, have not made contact with their families since Dec. 15. They were last seen travelling by car in Bobo-Dioulass in the West Africa country on their way to Togo for a humanitarian project.
“We understand how frightening this is for Blais’ family, for the community, for Canadians across the country who are troubled by this terrible situation,” said Trudeau.
Earlier in the day, Foreign Affairs Minister Chystia Freeland and International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau met with Blais’ mother and sister in Sherbrooke.
WATCH: Ministers meet with Edith Blais’ family
Burkina Faso Security Minister Clement Sawadogo referred to the disappearance of Blais and Tachetto as a kidnapping in a statement issued on Wednesday. The federal government has not confirmed the information — but Bibeau said it is looking at all possible scenarios.
She offered few details about the meeting, but she said the Canadian government is in “constant communication” with Blais’ family.
“They know everything we are doing,” she said.
During the meeting, Bibeau said they spoke at length about Blais. She described it as “a conversation between mothers.”
“Those are two extraordinary women who are very strong, and I believe they are reassured that our government is doing what has to be done in such circumstances.”
The family declined to speak to media before or after the meeting.
Canadian killed earlier this week
The meeting with Blais’ family comes one day after a Canadian was found dead in Burkina Faso.
Kirk Woodman, who is from Halifax, was kidnapped after nightfall on Tuesday during a raid at a mining site owned by Vancouver-based Progress Minerals.
His body was found two days later, about 100 kilometres away from the site.
Canada currently has an active travel advisory for Burkina Faso, recommending people avoid all non-essential travel to the country.
WATCH: Canadian mine worker kidnapped, killed in Burkina Faso
— With files from The Canadian Press and Global’s Katie Dangerfield
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