Speech Article from  Global Affairs Canada

Address by Canada's chargé d'affaires at ceremony to honour victims of January 15, 2016, terrorist attacks

January 25, 2016 - Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Check Against Delivery. This speech has been translated in accordance with the official languages policy and edited for posting and distribution in accordance with the Government of Canada’s communications policy.

At the request of the Burkinabè authorities, in my capacity as chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of Canada, on behalf of the families of the foreign victims of the horrible, appalling attacks of January 15, I have the solemn task of sharing a few thoughts with you at this ceremony.

I do so with mixed emotions—sadness and sympathy, but also anger and incomprehension in the face of such barbarous, unspeakable and unjustifiable acts. We, the representatives of the families of the victims from Canada, France, Italy, Ukraine, Switzerland, the United States, Libya, Morocco, the Netherlands and Portugal, utterly condemn these despicable crimes.

We honour all of the victims of these attacks, whatever their country or nationality.

Our loved ones came bringing smiles.

Our compatriots came bringing their expertise to further Burkina Faso’s development.

Our loved ones came to share their passion and to put it at the service of the weakest and least fortunate.

They came to do their part to build a Burkina Faso with a better quality of life.

They came to try to make their dreams reality—dreams of a world of solidarity, fraternity and love.

Just as our dear family members and friends were being warmly welcomed to Burkina Faso, monsters came out of the shadows and snatched their lives away.

In their murderous rampage, these monsters took the lives of partner, father, mother, child, brother, sister, sister-in-law, friend, colleague, compatriot, host and guest. What have we been left with?

We are left with their memory. We are left with their achievements. The memories we have of those we have lost will stay with us always. The wonderful work they accomplished or helped to accomplish, and even more important, the wonderful work they will inspire us to accomplish and that we will do in their memory will always remind us of their time here on earth, in Burkina Faso and in the countries they came from.

You and I—all of us here today and everyone the world over who believes in life, who is still standing and who refuses to give up in the face of barbarity—though shaken by this tragedy, will continue to move forward. By staying the course, we are keeping alive those who have so tragically left us.

On behalf of the families mourning the cruel loss of their loved ones, I would like to thank the Burkinabè for their hospitality and openness to the outside world. I would like to thank the Burkinabè authorities for this ceremony and this forum they have given us.

Last, I would like to offer all of those injured or affected by the horrible events of January 15 our heartfelt sympathies and to wish them a quick recovery.

We offer the families of the Burkinabè victims our sincere condolences. These people, so dear to us, were working on projects together with us. They were together on January 15. Thirty of them left this life virtually together. May they find eternal happiness together.

Now it is our turn to keep together and continue, against all odds, to build a peaceful, just and safe world.

Yes, let us keep together, tenere insieme, restons ensemble, houden elkaar, nadae fi maeaan, ficar juntos.

Let us keep together!

Barka [thank you]!

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