Information reaching the office of RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA indicates that a Catechist has been murdered in Burkina Faso. Here was a man who has shown “remarkable dedication” in Over 20 Years of Church Service.

The Correspondent of RECOWACERAO NEWS AGCNCY, RECONA based in Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso reported that Catechist Edouard Zoetyenga Yougbare who was kidnapped and murdered in Burkina Faso’s Catholic Diocese of Fada N’Gourma had shown “remarkable dedication” in his over two decades of service, a Catholic Priest who interacted with Catholic Journalists indicated.

In a Tuesday, April 23 interview with ACI Africa, made available to our Burkina Faso correspondent, the Burkinabe Catholic Priest, who requested anonymity, recalled the events leading to the abduction and eventual murder of the Catechist, whose lifeless body was discovered on April 19.

“On Thursday, April 18, Yougbare went out in search of his donkey, which had been missing for some two months. On the same day, an attack took place about three kilometers from Kamona, an outlying district of Saatenga center. Two young people from Saatenga, who had gone to (get) water (for) their cattle and sheep, were targeted and their animals taken away,” he recounted.

The Priest continued recounting the events of April 18, “Several other people, including women who had gone into the bush in search of tamarind or wood, or to harvest their millet left in the field, were captured by terrorists; their belongings were confiscated and destroyed.”

He went on to recall that “another Catechist, Jean Marie Yougbare, was briefly detained but released after the assailants recognized him as a benefactor, recalling how he had welcomed them into his home during a storm.”

“This alarming news was circulating in the village of Saatenga, and Catechist Edouard had still not returned. Worried, his daughters-in-law went looking for him around midday, but all they found was his bicycle, which they brought back that evening,” The Catholic Priest narrated.

He recalled the confirmation of the worst fears of the Catechist Edouard’s family members, saying, “Thinking he might have fled and taken refuge somewhere, they set out again on Friday (April 19) morning to find him, only to discover his lifeless body at around 6 a.m.”

This was in Pouargogê, some four kilometers from Zigni and seven kilometers from Saatenga, Priest our Correspondent, added that Catechist Edouard’s “throat had been slit, his hands tied behind his back and he was lying on his back.”

“Signs of violence were visible, with a fractured arm, suggesting that he had been maltreated before being killed,” he further recounted, adding that the Catechist had to be buried close to where his body was discovered for lack of means to transport the body amid high temperatures.

According to the Burkinabe Catholic Priest, previous disagreement over land ownership might have made Catechist Edouard a target of his adversaries, who he said were “Peulhs”, popularly known as the Fulani.

Those behind the kidnapping and murder of Catechist Edouard “were Peulhs (the Fulani), he told ACI Africa, adding, “It seems that during his stay in Zigni, Catechist Yougbare had had disagreements with Peulhs (the Fulani) over the ownership of the land he was farming on.”

The Catholic Church leader went on to eulogize the late Catechist as one whose service to the Church “was marked by remarkable dedication.

“His 23-year-commitment as a Catechist in Zigni testifies to his devotion to his community,” he emphasized during the April 23 interview.

Born in 1964 in Kouriogê, Catechist Edouard was married to Eulalie Delma. The father of eight children, including six boys and two girls had lost three of his children, two boys and a girl

He served as a Catechist in Lantaogo in the Eastern region of Burkina Faso for six years. He returned to his hometown, Gondinpiighin in 1993, after encountering challenges in his apostolate.

In 1997, Catechist Edouard joined Zigni, a community of farmers. As Zigni’s population grew, a Small Christian Community (SCC) was formed around 2000, and Catechist Edouard became its leader.

Due to growing insecurity in the region, he moved to Gondinpiighin in 2023, where he lived until his lifeless body was discovered on April 19.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa on April 19, the Catholic Pontifical and charity foundation, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), eulogized Catechist Edouard as a faithful servant.

“We are heartbroken by the loss of Yougbare. He served his community faithfully and his death is a devastating blow for the people of Saratoga,” officials of ACN International say in the statement by María Lozano, the entity’s press and public relations director.

They note that “Catechists in Burkina Faso are on the front lines, risking their lives for the good of their people. Just two months ago, another catechist was murdered in the Diocese of Dori while leading a Sunday celebration in a chapel.