U of G Mourns Alumnus Following Burkina Faso Terror Attack

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The University of Guelph mourns the death of an alumnus killed in the Burkina Faso terrorist attack on Aug. 13, said president Franco Vaccarino.

Bilel Diffalah, who graduated in 2012 with a certificate in Canadian agri-food studies from the U of G Alfred Campus, was among 18 people killed by gunmen in the capital Ouagadougou.

Diffalah was one of two Canadians who died in the restaurant attack.

He was a volunteer with a Uniterra program operated by the Centre for International Cooperation and Studies and the World University Service of Canada. Diffalah worked as a hygiene and biosecurity adviser with a local poultry organization.

“This devastating tragedy is a sad reminder of the pain that hatred and extremism can cause,” said Vaccarino.

“Bilel was making a contribution to an impoverished country, using his education, expertise and passion to make a difference around the world. We express our heartfelt sorrow to his family and loved ones. Our thoughts are with him and all the victims.”

University counselling services and other supports are available to assist students and employees, including the following:

–Student Counselling Services, Ext. 53244

–Student Support Network (drop-in hours are noon to 10 p.m., Monday to Friday, Raithby House)

–Good2Talk Helpline, 1-866-925-5454

–Employee assistance program for faculty and staff, 1-800-265-8310

–Multi-Faith Resource Team, Ext. 52392