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Burkina Faso is epicentre of Sahel crisis, 765,000 displaced – UN



The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on Friday reported that every day, over 4,000 people flee attacks by militants in Burkina Faso, making the country the epicentre of the escalating insecurity in Africa’s Sahel region.

“The number of internally displaced people in Burkina Faso reached 765,000 after an estimated 150,000 were uprooted in the past three weeks,’’ UNHCR spokesman, Andrej Mahecic, told a news conference.

Report says the north of Burkina Faso, which borders Mali and Niger, serves as a refuge for extremist groups, who regularly target the civilian population.

“People fleeing the violence report attacks on their villages by militant groups, killing, raping, pillaging,’’ Mahecic said.

The UNHCR faces difficulties in helping uprooted people because it cannot access many areas in the impoverished West African country for security reasons.

Mauritania, Mali and Niger are also caught up in the Sahel crisis.

Some of the armed groups that are active in the Sahel region have sworn allegiance to the Islamic State or al-Qaeda terrorist groups.

When UNHCR chief, Filippo Grandi, visited the affected countries earlier this month, he said that “Sahel is the place where we must intervene before this crisis becomes unmanageable’’.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Abdulfatah Babatunde

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Abiodun Oluleye: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]

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April 2020