480 Civilians Killed in Burkina Attacks Since May: NGO

Burkina Faso, a landlocked and arid Sahel nation, has been battling jihadist attacks since 2015.

At least 480 civilians were killed in jihadist attacks in Burkina Faso between May and August, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said on Monday.

The NGO also expressed alarm at the increase in the number of displaced people in recent months, with more than 275,000 people “forced to flee a new outbreak of violence” since April.

According to the NRC, an average of 55,000 people have been forced to flee their homes each month since April, almost three times the average monthly figure between October 2020 and March 2021.

In total, more than 1.4 million people have been forced to leave their homes in Burkina Faso due to the attacks.

“The slowness and inadequacy of the humanitarian response are forcing people to choose between insecurity and hunger,” the NRC also warned in a statement.

The NGO pointed to the “impossible choice” of some families: “To stay in a besieged area where food shortages have become so critical that there are only leaves to eat or to walk for days in search of food and risk being attacked.”

It appealed to the government to allow it to provide support in the worst-affected areas.

“Relief organizations have the capacity to help people in the most inaccessible areas where help is urgently needed,” said Manenji Mangundu, NRC’s director in Burkina.

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