Some 50 women were abducted by armed men near several villages in Burkina Faso. The victims, who also include teenagers, were taken captive while picking fruit some distance away from their homes. Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, groups linked to Al Qaeda or the Islamic State are suspected.
The kidnappings took place in a number of attacks in different locations. The first of them was 15 kilometers from Arbinda, while the rest of the victims were abducted in the Soum province. In both cases, the women were several kilometers away from their families because of hunger. At this time, as reported to The New York Times by the mayor of Dori, a town in northern Burkina, Aziz Diallo, told The New York Times, extremist groups have blockaded the north of the country, aggravating the already difficult economic situation of these families.
Increased jihadist activity
To complicate matters further, the two sides have engaged in a kind of fratricidal war for the control of territory. The clashes between armed men are becoming more frequent, creating greater insecurity and deepening fears among the inhabitants of nearby villages, especially when forced to leave in search of something to put in their mouths.
Although kidnapping women is a common strategy among Islamic terrorists, especially in Africa, it was not commonplace in this country until now. With these actions, in addition to sowing terror and trying to kidnap or blackmail relatives, the other aim is to expel Christians from these cities, as Aid to the Church in Need has been denouncing for years. According to the Pontifical Foundation, attacks and persecution against Christians have increased significantly in Burkina Faso and throughout Africa.
Like many countries in the Sahel in West Africa, Burkina Faso has been suffering under Islamist terrorism in recent years. Following the murder of a priest on 2 January, ACN spoke to Bishop Laurent Dabiré of Dori about the situation in Burkina Faso. https://t.co/SU3uoEPl8L
— Aid To The Church In Need (@ireland_acn) January 12, 2023