A videotape that indicates two Canadians kidnapped in Niger last year are still alive has emerged, according to the news service Agence-France Press.
AFP reported on Saturday that sources who have seen the tape and are close to the investigation said that "two Canadian diplomats appear before the camera in turn to introduce themselves."
Robert Fowler — a UN special envoy who has previously served as a Canadian ambassador in Italy — his assistant Louis Guay and driver went missing in Niger in mid-December.
The vehicle in which Fowler and Guay were travelling was found Dec. 14 in good working condition about 40 kilometres northeast of the capital, Niamey. Cellphones, a camera and jacket were reportedly found in the vehicle.
Citing two unnamed sources from Mali — which borders Niger — AFP reported the undated tape appears to confirm the two men are still alive.
"It is Robert Fowler who appears first before the camera. Behind him there are armed men. Mr. Fowler asks for a response to the demands of his kidnappers but doesn't provide any more details," one source said.
The tape has reportedly been sent to Canadian officials, according to agency.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has declined to comment on the matter, saying it will "not comment or release any information which may compromise ongoing efforts and endanger the safety of the individuals involved."