Sunday, February 23, 2020

Burkina Faso Chaos

More than 4,000 people are being forced to flee their homes daily in Burkina Faso as attacks on civilians by armed groups increase in number and frequency, the United Nations has warned.
"People fleeing the violence report attacks on their villages by militant groups, killing, raping, pillaging. Terrified of these attacks, residents have left everything behind to find safety." 

In a statement on Friday, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said more than 700,000 people were displaced in the past 12 months, with an estimated 150,000 of them being uprooted in the last three weeks alone.
Burkina Faso borders Mali to the northwest and Niger to the east, with all three Sahelian countries hit by a swiftly deteriorating security situation.

Last month, the UN envoy for West Africa told the Security Council that attacks have increased fivefold in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger since 2016, with more than 4,000 deaths reported in 2019.

Many parts of the Sahel that have seen the most fighting are severely underdeveloped. The multiple armed groups operating in the region, a semi-arid swathe of land beneath the Sahara, have exploited poverty as well as religious and ethnic divisions for recruitment. Meanwhile, the military campaigns by the ill-equipped national armies have also been marred by human rights abuses, which analysts say have pushed some civilians into the arms of fighters.

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