Iulian Gherghut, a Romanian national who was employed as a security guard at a foreignowned manganese mining operation in northern Burkina Faso, was kidnapped by five gunmen. Two other employees were injured during the attack, which occurred in Oudalan province, before the assailants drove north towards the border with Mali. Al Mourabitoun, a Sahel-based Islamist militant group, has since claimed responsibility for the attack and has called on the Romanian government to enter into negotiations over an undisclosed ransom to secure the security guard’s release. In light of the political vacuum that has emerged in Burkina Faso following the ousting of long-serving leader Blaise Compaoré, in October 2014, the kidnapping has raised concerns over insecurity in the north of Burkina Faso. At the centre of these security concerns is the still undetermined future of the presidential guard, the Régiment de la Sécurité Présidentielle (RSP), the specialised force tasked with securing Gherghut’s release.
Find the rest of this story and more in XL Catlin Global Kidnap Bulletin for July 2015