Kirk Woodman, a Canadian originally from Halifax who worked a miner in West Africa was kidnapped in Burkina Faso two days before he was found dead.
His family reported the incident and said that he was abducted Tuesday night by a dozen gunmen at a mining site. This mining site is owned by Vancouver-based Progress Minerals in Tiabongou, which is near the border with Niger, in an area the government says is under growing threat from armed jihadists.
Woodman’s son Matt, who is a CTV reporter in Edmonton, told CBC News the family found out Thursday morning. He said in a statement:
“Kirk was a loving and hard-working husband, father, son and brother. Not a day will go by that he won’t be missed. Our family would like to thank everyone for the love and support we’ve received, but we ask for privacy while we grieve during this difficult time.”
A spokesperson for the Burkina Faso Security Ministry said to Radio-Canada that Woodman had been shot. Moreover, his body was found Wednesday night, 100 kilometres from the site where he worked.
Chrystia Freeland, Foreign Affairs Minister told reporters in Sherbrooke, Que., today that Canada is in touch with Woodman’s family and would work to ensure that Woodman’s killers were brought to justice.
“I spoke to his family today. It is a very, very sad situation and as I said to his family; his family has the sympathy of our whole country and our government is working with, will continue to work on the ground in Burkina Faso and with the authorities in Burkina Faso, to be sure that the people responsible for this terrible killing face justice.”
Alpha Barry, Burkina Faso’s minister of foreign affairs and co-operation says that his death was an ‘assassination’. He said in a statement posted to Facebook:
“The government of Burkina condemns with the utmost energy this cowardly assassination and reassures that an investigation is opened and all the measures will be taken to find and punish the guilty,” (translated from French, official language in Burkina Faso)
Jill and I are devastated to hear about the murder of Kirk Woodman, a Canadian citizen kidnapped in Burkina Faso. Those responsible for these heinous acts must be brought to justice. On behalf of @CPC_HQ, we extend our sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones.
“The government shares the grief of family, loved ones and the Canadian government and offers them the deepest condolences.”
The killing of Woodman was also condemned by Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, as he says: “Those responsible for these heinous acts must be brought to justice,” he tweeted.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also tweeted and sends his condolences: “Let us ensure his loved ones are given space to grieve during this difficult time.”