News Alerts

29 May 2019 | 08:53 PM UTC

Burkina Faso: Some 17,000 displaced by fighting in Soum as of late May

Burkina Faso News Alert

ICRC reports more than 17,000 people in Soum province displaced by fighting as of late May

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/29/2019, 12:00 AM until 6/1/2019, 11:59 PM (Africa/Ouagadougou). COUNTRY/REGION Soum province

Event

A report published by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Tuesday, May 28, indicates some 17,000 people have been displaced by insecurity and factional fighting in Soum province (Sahel region) since the start of 2019. Raids by armed groups and the rapid expansion of militancy in the province - particularly impacting the villages of Diguel, Nassoumbou, and Koutougou - has prompted a significant number of people to flee to aid camps near Djibo.

Islamist groups operating primarily in the Mali-Burkina Faso-Niger border region have carried out a growing number of attacks on civilians, military outposts, and mining companies in the area. Such attacks are to be expected in the region over the near term.

Context

Terrorism has become an increasingly severe security threat in Burkina Faso since 2015. Educational institutions, local government officials, and security forces are specifically targeted. Initially concentrated in the Sahel region, attacks have spread to other regions, including eastern Burkina Faso (Est region), which is also known for high crime rates. Attacks are typically attributed to Ansarul Islam and other groups affiliated with Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

On January 11, Burkina Faso's parliament extended a state of emergency effective in Est and Sahel regions, the western provinces of Kossi and Sourou, the central-eastern province of Koulpélogo, the western province of Kénédougou, and northern province of Lorum by six months.

Advice

Individuals in Burkina Faso are advised to monitor developments to the security situation in the north of the country and remain vigilant for criminal and militant activity.

Due to the severe threats of terrorism and kidnapping, individuals present in Burkina Faso - including the capital Ouagadougou - are strongly advised to be discreet regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, to remain vigilant at all times, and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.

 

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