American Embassy in Burkina Faso Confirms the Kidnap of 83-Year Old Nun

In a statement, the US Embassy in Burkina Faso stated it was aware of allegations of a missing American citizen.

According to the statement, the US Embassy in Ouagadougou is working with local authorities to verify these reports and is keeping a close eye on the situation. We are prepared to provide all necessary consular help.

Armed men had kidnapped the 83-year-old American nun, Suellen Tennyson, in northern Burkina Faso on Tuesday, according to the bishop of the local diocese, Kaya Bishop Theophile Nare.

The identity of the kidnappers is yet to be established. Militant organisations in Burkina Faso have taken over vast swaths of the country, with some having ties to al Qaeda and Islamic State. They regularly assault the army and civilians. In 2019, a Canadian was found dead in the country after being kidnapped.

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Tennyson of the Marianites of Holy Cross, a Catholic congregation, was recognised in a statement. She was abducted at the parish of Yalgo, which is part of the diocese of Kaya, on Monday night, where she had been serving since 2014.

“Sister Suellen Tennyson was taken to an unknown destination by her kidnappers who, before leaving, vandalised rooms (and) sabotaged the community vehicle which they tried to take,” Kaya Bishop Theophile Nare said in the statement.

The ruling military junta in Burkina Faso has stated that security is its top priority, and this week unveiled a new strategy to reorganise and strengthen army operations against insurgents.

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