Left Menu
Development News Edition

Christians in Burkina seek refuge after horrifying attacks

Devdiscourse News Desk | Kaya | Updated: 18-05-2019 00:29 IST | Created: 18-05-2019 00:29 IST
Christians in Burkina seek refuge after horrifying attacks
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Concerned about a rise in violence against Christians in Burkina Faso, Pastor Jacques Ouedraogo changed the time of his Sunday service as a precaution. He believes this is what saved his life.

Later, his church was one of two targeted by gunmen on May 12 in the town of Dablo in a series of deadly attacks on churches and a religious procession in the last two weeks in Burkina's formerly peaceful Central North region.

"I could have been one of the martyrs who fell on Sunday," said the priest. "We've told ourselves our turn will come. Today Christians are potential targets. We're all scared."

In the wake of Sunday's bloodshed, he and hundreds of residents fled Dablo. The town had previously served as a safe haven for some of the thousands displaced by violence in the country's northern Sahel region, which has become a stronghold for militant groups with links to Islamic State and al Qaeda.

Around 90 kilometres south of Dablo, the city of Kaya has become a refuge for those newly displaced, including a farmer, who asked to be identified by the name Te Wende. Along with his his wife, mother, grandmother and two children, he was warned by neighbours to flee.

"When the shooting started, they called us straight away and told us to run far away," he said. "We don't know where they came from or what they really wanted," he said. On Thursday, the United Nations warned that the Central North region had become the new epicentre for attacks.

The recent targeting of churches threatens to upend traditionally peaceful relations between the Muslim majority and Christians, who make up a quarter of Burkinabes. "I call on Christians not to panic and not to yield to the temptation of vengeance, because that could be blind," the Bishop of Kaya, Theophile Nare, said at a meeting of bishops in the capital on Friday.

The first church attack occurred in late April, when gunmen killed a Protestant pastor and five congregants. Subsequently, a Catholic priest and five parishioners were killed in the Dablo attack and a further four Catholics died in an attack on Tuesday.

No one has claimed responsibility, but the Burkinabe government has blamed "terrorist groups ... attacking religion with the macabre aim of dividing us." Violent attacks linked to the strengthening jihadist insurgency have surged this year in Burkina as well as across the broader Sahel region, an arid expanse of scrubland just south of the Sahara desert.

Militants have also worked to sow ethnic tensions between farming and herding communities in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger in order to boost recruitment among marginalised communities. On Thursday, Islamic State's West African branch claimed responsibility for an ambush that killed 28 soldiers this week in Niger, one of the deadliest attacks against the military in Niger's west in recent years.



‘Discounted Deaths’ and COVID 19: Anthropology of Death and Emotions

Death is a social event rather than the mere cessation of biological functions. As seen by anthropologists, death is not just physical but intensely social, cultural, and political....

Indigenous knowledge of communities a must for maximizing impact of community work

Generally, it has been observed that the majority of the academicians in higher education institutions neglect the wisdom of community people and throw their weight around thinking that they know everything and the community knows nothing. ...

In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...

Dissecting how COVID-19 is catalyzing the trajectory of New World Order

The ensuing pandemic of COVID-19 has hit the globalization in two ways firstly, shrinking the importance of globalization as an economic force by curtailing mobility through worldwide lockdowns, and secondly, rejuvenating the idea of indig...


Latest News

Berlin: Germany expects China to respect rule of law in Hong Kong

Germany expects China to respect the rule of law in Hong Kong, a government spokeswoman said on Wednesday, after security legislation proposed by Beijing has raised international alarm over freedoms in the former British crown colony.Hong K...

Britain in close contact with U.S. in run up to G7 - PM's spokesman

Britain is in close contact with the United States in the run-up to the G7 summit and is looking at what is being proposed, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday. Earlier, the White House said President Donald Trump...

IOC appoints Batra as member of Olympic Channel Commission

Indian Olympic Association IOA president Narinder Batra has been appointed as a member of the Olympic Channel Commission. In a letter to International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, Batra, who had become an IOC member in June last...

Prepare plan for screening of passengers when normal train services resume: UP CM to officials

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday directed officials to prepare a work plan beforehand for screening of passengers when normal train services are restored in the country. He underlined the need for screening all thos...

Give Feedback