Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Zambian ambushed and killed in Burkina Faso rebel attacks


A well known Zambian born Irish ranger has been killed in Burkina Faso along with two Spanish journalists as they were filming a documentary about anti-poaching activities in the Western African nation when their convoy was ambushed.

The killings on Monday came as violence is increasing in Burkina Faso and the security situation in the Sahel is deteriorating, especially in the border area of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

Burkina Faso has seen attacks from many armed groups, several of them linked to the Islamic State and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

The conservation organization Chengeta Wildlife said its co-founder and chief executive, Rory Young, was the third victim.

Mr. Beriain and Mr. Fraile were following Mr. Young, a Zambia-born Irish national based in Livingstone for their documentary, Chengeta Wildlife said on Facebook.

“It is with deepest sorrow and regret that Chengeta Wildlife confirms the death of Rory Young, our co-founder and CEO. Rory was leading a wildlife protection patrol in Arly National Park, Burkina Faso on 26th April 2021 when they were attacked by terrorists which resulted in his death and that of two Spanish journalists who were capturing his efforts to protect precious wildlife,” the statement read.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased right now. We respectfully request your patience, time and understanding as we deal with the loss of our inspirational leader.”

Mr. Young was a well-respected guide and ranger who had worked in several African countries, and whose organization provides a mix of traditional training to detect poaching groups, and crime scene investigation skills. Mr. Young had said that his organization was training 900 rangers and other personnel last year to track poaching and wildlife trafficking activities.

In his last Instagram post on Friday, Mr. Young said learning to track animals was like learning to read.

“It opens up a whole world of knowledge,” he wrote.

In 2017, Mr. Young of Chengeta Wildlife told The New York Times that the organization’s anti-poaching activities were only possible if it managed to build constructive relationships with the local populations to stay updated on events in the region.

“Without the community there is no solution,” Mr. Young said.

Yet Mr. Young also often acknowledged the risks of the rangers’ mission. In July, he wrote on Instagram about training local rangers.

“We do that with them on the frontline,” he wrote.

The ambush, in the reserve of Pama, part of the Arli National Park, occurred near Pendjari National Park, where a guide from Benin and two French tourists were abducted in 2019.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of Spain confirmed the deaths of the two Spanish journalists, whom he identified on Twitter as David Beriain and Roberto Fraile.

Movistar+, the Spanish television platform for which Mr. Beriain was filming the documentary, confirmed that Mr. Young was the third victim.

The two journalists were part of a group of 40 who were ambushed on Monday in a nature reserve in eastern Burkina Faso near the border with Benin, said Arancha González Laya, Spain’s foreign minister.

The authorities in Burkina Faso said in a statement on Tuesday evening that the country had faced “a resurgence of terrorist acts” since Sunday, and that around 10 people had been killed in several attacks


  1. This has hurt me. God why take such a patriotic zambian? Why didn’t you take a f00lish diasporan instead like akaps scouser or that other tonga f00l tarino

    Sorry to my fans and haters, I have been quiet as I am busy working hard to prepare for August elections.

  2. He looks like a Mercenary with the Gear his has on. You can’t be wondering in the bush when you are in a War Torn territory. Those Rebels from those sides are ruthless when they meet a White man in the Bush. Who ever summoned this mission needs to take responsibility for this.
    Sad, MHSRIP

  3. Very sad indeed. Why don’t we send Peter Zuze with his MiG21 Jet to go and show them that we don’t tolerated such savage behaviour?

  4. I think the game ranger was erroneously mistaken for a soldier. While he was taking care of the wild life the wild rogue guerillas showed no mercy on him. It reminds me of the Mailoni brothers who took the life of an officer pilot in Zambia’s Central province just to loot an aeroplane. May his soul rest in peace as I send my condolences to Young’s family.

  5. May his soul rest in peace.They also have to
    Be prepared for such attacks as there were
    Previous such attacks in this area or not to
    Film documentaries when it is risky.

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