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RIP Irishman shot dead in Burkina Faso ambush named as Rory Young

Rory Young was described as a pro guide and anti-poaching strategist who was an expert tracker.


Rory Young

Rory Young

Rory Young

The Irish citizen who was one of three men killed in an ambush in Burkina Faso has been named as Rory Young.

The conservationist was part of a group that was shot dead by militants in the eastern region of the country on Monday.

Mr Young, the co-founder and president of the Chengeta Wildlife group, was this evening confirmed as one of the deceased.

The Zambian born ranger had been with two Spanish nationals, well-known journalist David Beriáin and cameraman Robert Fraile, at the time of the ambush.

It’s understood they had been filming a documentary on poaching in the country when the attack occurred.

Movistar, the production company that the Spanish journalists worked for, confirmed the death of Mr Young.

“It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of David Beriáin,” they said.

“The Movistar Plus family, of which he was a part, sends all their affection to the loves ones and families of David, Robert Fraile and Rory Young, who have lost their lives in Pama (Burkina Faso). Goodbye, companions,” they added.

Rory Young was described as a pro guide and anti-poaching strategist who was an expert tracker.

“He has dedicated his life to wildlife protection and he co-authored, A Field Manual For Anti-Poaching Activities, a guide that provides workable solutions to poaching,” his biography on the Chengeta Wildlife website read.

The organisation is dedicated to tackle poaching by training locals in anti-poaching techniques and investigations across a dozen African countries.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it continues to closely follow unfolding developments in Burkina Faso.

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“The situation is complex and officials are working with relevant actors on the ground, including Spanish and EU colleagues, to ensure that the full facts are established and followed up on as a matter of urgency.

“The department has been in contact with the family of the Irish citizen and is providing all possible consular support.

“As with all consular cases, it would be not appropriate to comment on specific details of the case at this time.”

The attackers struck during the day on a road leading to the vast forested reserve of Pama.

Burkina Faso, like much of West Africa's Sahel region, faces a deepening security crisis as groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State carry out attacks on the army and civilians, despite help from French and UN forces.

The worsening violence has led to one of the world's fastest-growing displacement crises, the United Nations warned earlier in April.

The Sahel now hosts nearly three million refugees and people displaced inside their own country.

The insurgents are believed to be holding a number of foreign hostages in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

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