2 French tourists go missing in Benin near Burkina Faso


COTONOU, Benin (AP) — Two French tourists are feared kidnapped in the West African nation of Benin after they failed to return from a game drive in a wildlife reserve and their guide was later found dead, authorities said Sunday.

The disappearance has raised fears they could have been abducted by Islamic extremists who have become increasingly active over the border in Burkina Faso. There are worries the militants could be infiltrating northern Benin and neighboring Togo as well.

The French tourists were last seen with their guide Wednesday when they went into the Pendjari National Park, according to the organization that oversees the reserve in the country’s north.

Two days later the body of an African man who had been fatally shot was found in the park. Authorities in Benin identified him as the French tourists’ guide.

The French government is in contact with the tourists’ families but would not release their identities for security reasons, said a French Foreign Ministry official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to be publicly named.

Lindsey Graham Ties Border Funding to Ukraine Aid, Has Tough Message for Anyone Who Doesn't Like It

Authorities in Benin have been increasingly concerned that the growing instability in neighboring Burkina Faso could spread.

“We’re trying to secure our borders so that we don’t get any of these members of armed groups in our country,” Army Chief of Staff Col. Fructueux Gbaguidi said just a week ago.

Pendjari National Park makes up part of a vast wildlife area that stretches across Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger. The entire area is home to most of the world’s remaining West African lion population.


Associated Press writers Angela Charlton in Paris and Krista Larson in Dakar, Senegal contributed to this report.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City