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Canada: Two diplomats missing in Niger

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  • Both Canadians work for the United Nations, their government says
  • Officials did not elaborate on how or when the two went missing
  • Details of the diplomat's activities in Niger were not disclosed
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(CNN) -- Two Canadian diplomats have been reported missing in Niger, the Canadian government said Monday, adding that both men work for the United Nations.

Canada's ministry of foreign affairs identified the two as Robert Fowler, the United Nations' special envoy to Niger, and Louis Guay, a Canadian diplomat working for the United Nations with Fowler.

Details of the diplomat's activities in Niger were not disclosed. Officials did not elaborate on any specifics of how or when the two went missing.

"I am very concerned by the situation and want to assure family and friends of the missing Canadian diplomats, and all Canadians, that we will do everything we can to resolve the situation successfully," Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon said in a statement, adding that he had spoken with U.N. officials since the two were reported missing.

"Canadian officials in the capital of Niger and other regional Canadian offices are actively engaged with local and U.N. officials and are pursuing all appropriate measures at this time," Cannon said.

Andre Lemay, spokesman for the foreign affairs ministry, told CNN the two men are specialists and experts in U.N. field work, but he did not elaborate.

Lemay would not say specifically whether officials believe the two were kidnapped, but he said, "At this point we're trying to find out who would do this. We're not talking about Sudan here, where we hear about things like this happening everyday. From what we understand this is not mainstream."

Lemay said there is no Canadian embassy in Niger, but the Canadian embassy in the Ivory Coast services nearby countries including Sierra Leone, Benin and Niger.

Fowler was Canada's ambassador to the United Nations from 1995 to 2000

CNN's Nick Valencia contributed to this report.

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