Official: Jihadis abduct at least 50 women in Burkina Faso

PTI | Dakar | Updated: 16-01-2023 20:17 IST | Created: 16-01-2023 20:17 IST
Official: Jihadis abduct at least 50 women in Burkina Faso
  • Country:
  • Senegal

At least 50 women have been abducted by Islamic extremists in Burkina Faso's northern Sahel region, a local official said on Monday.

The kidnappings occurred on January 12 and 13 approximately 15 kilometres (9 miles) from the town of Arbinda in Soum province, Sahel governor Lt. Col. P.F Rodolphe Sorgho said in a statement.

The women were kidnapped while out in the countryside gathering wild fruit, he said.

The West African nation has been overrun by jihadi violence linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group that has killed thousands and displaced nearly 2 million people.

Successive governments' failure to stop the fighting has caused widespread discontent, and triggered two military coups in 2022 — the latter against the first military regime to seize power.

However, the current military junta, which seized power in September vowing to restore security, is still struggling to stem the violence.

A total 116 security incidents were recorded in the second week of January, according to an internal security report for aid groups seen by The Associated Press. That marks a more than 60 per cent increase compared to the last week of December.

Extremists have besieged towns around the country, preventing people and goods from moving freely.

The town of Arbinda has been under jihadi blockade for years, making women more vulnerable to attacks if they try to leave, rights groups say.

"It's a very concerning and serious development in Burkina Faso that exposes the vulnerability of women in areas under blockade," said Ousmane Diallo, a researcher at Amnesty International's regional office for West and Central Africa.

"The rights of civilians and their rights to their livelihoods must be protected by all parties to the conflict. There needs to be more attention and more protection of civilians by the government in these besieged towns, but also (a) tailored approach to the protection of women and girls," he said. FZH

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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