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Canadian Journalist Guy-Andre Kieffer Missing in Ivory Coast - 2004-04-19

The French and Canadian embassies in Ivory Coast are searching for a Canadian journalist based in the country who has not been heard from since Friday.

The journalist, Guy-Andre Kieffer, is working with the France-based newsletter Letter of the Continent, reporting mostly on Ivory Coast's economy and the cocoa market. He has been based in Abidjan, the commercial capital of Ivory Coast, for a number of years.

According to the France-based watchdog group, Reporters Without Borders, Mr. Kieffer was last seen early afternoon on Friday. Since then his cellular phone has been switched off.

A spokesman for Reporters Without Borders, Jullian Bouliou, said some military personnel had announced on Sunday that a body had been discovered, but the report was not confirmed.

Apparently, some military men said to journalists that they found a body near Abidjan, and then the journalists came to this place and they did not find anything. We do not know if there was a body in that place.

He says that there was also a report that Mr. Kieffer had a recent conflict with a Cabinet minister in Ivory Coast.

Of the 40 journalists killed worldwide last year, two of them were based in Abidjan. A police officer convicted of the murder of Jean Helene, a reporter with Radio France International, is currently serving 17 years in jail.