Burkina Faso News: Islamist militants abducted around 50 women in Burkina Faso’s northern province of Soum, the center of jihadist activities. The government gave this information on Monday (January 16). According to a Reuters report, these women were plucking wild fruits outside Liki village, about 15 km from Aribinda town, and elsewhere in the same district.
“A search has been launched with the aim of finding all these innocent victims safe and sound,” the government said in a statement. Burkina Faso is one of several countries in West Africa battling a violent insurgency with al Qaeda and the Islamic State taking over large swathes of territory over the past decade.
Situation critical in Sahel too, thousands killed
According to the United Nations, thousands of people have been killed and more than 2.7 million displaced in Burkina Faso’s Sahel region. Agriculture has been badly affected due to extreme insecurity in the Sahel. There people are suffering from starvation. Relatives of the victims told Reuters that the missing women had been foraging in the woods for food. Their families did not have food in the village.
Food shortage in northern parts
According to reports, the rebels have completely blockaded parts of the north in recent months, leading to severe food shortages and supplies not reaching trapped civilians. Dozens of soldiers were also killed in September when militants attacked a convoy of 150 vehicles carrying supplies in the northern city of Jibo, the capital of Soum.
America also expressed concern
A villager from Aribinda said, “The men were afraid to go too far from their homes for fear of being shot by the jihadists…so the women were abducted.” The US State Department also expressed concern over the kidnapping of women. “The abducted must be immediately and unconditionally returned safely to their families and those responsible must be held accountable,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.