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04 Apr 2020 | 01:21 AM UTC

Burkina Faso: UN records 800,000 internally displaced persons April 2

Ongoing violence in Burkina Faso displaces 800,000 people nationwide according to the UN April 2; violence likely to persist

security
BFA

Event

As of Thursday, April 2, the UN estimates that around 800,000 people have been internally displaced due to the ongoing violence in the country and projects that approximately 1 million people will be displaced by May. Furthermore, the UN forecasts that the number of people affected by food insecurity will more than triple by June, from 680,000 to more than 2.1 million.

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 expected in the region over the near term.

Context

Burkina Faso declared a state of emergency for the country's border regions on January 1, 2019, remaining in effect until January 12, 2021.

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 usually attributed to Ansarul Islam and other groups affiliated with Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Advice

Individuals in Burkina Faso are advised to monitor developments relating to the security situation, obey local regulations (e.g. state-of-emergency orders), and remain vigilant for criminal and militant activity.

Due to 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.