Monday, June 08, 2020

Scorched Earth - Jihadist Tactics

Violence linked to jihadists has spread from Burkina Faso’s north to its western breadbasket in the Boucle du Mouhoun region, pushing thousands like Drabo to hunger and threatening to cut off food for millions more in the country on the edge of the Sahara Desert. The fertile land produces large amounts of rice and maize. Reports of jihadists burning granaries and looting food warehouses at schools in the region are rising

“If production goes down in this area and if movement restrictions due to the coronavirus drive up food prices in the markets, it could push numbers of severely vulnerable people to double or triple,” said Julia Wanjiru, communications coordinator for the Sahel and West Africa Club, an intergovernmental economic group.

Food insecurity already affects 2 million people in Burkina Faso, according to the latest report from its government and aid groups. The crisis in Burkina Faso already has displaced about 850,000 people, leaving many sustenance farmers unable to feed their families.

Some analysts think the increase in violence is an extremist strategy to cut off the country’s food supply and deepen grievances against the government. If prices for grains rise because production was compromised, it could have severe repercussions for public perception of the government and play directly in their the terrorists favour.

No comments: