Fr Joël Yougbaré, a parish priest in Burkino Faso, on the border with Mali, has been been missing since Sunday.
The Bishop of Dori, Laurent Dabiré, said: "We have no news of Fr Joël Yougbaré, parish priest of Djibo since last Sunday... Research has been going on so far without any results.. 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 added however, that the area where the priest disappeared is unsafe, due to the presence of jihadist groups, and said: "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 4.30pm, a catechist rang, wanting 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 without success.
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 17 September 2018 in Tillaberi and is still missing.
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