Burkina Faso Faces an Elevated Crisis

By Tom Castor | March 7, 2024 |

With much of the global attention focused on Israel and Ukraine, the struggles people are facing in Africa can be easily overlooked. Many who follow our work will know that we have worked actively in West Africa for several years. Our connections and partnerships in Burkina Faso have led to translations and publications in French, Mõõre, Dyula, Gourmantché, Bwaba, Dagara, Cerma, Dogossé, Pougouli, Lobiri, and Gurunsi Nuni. Those languages cover most of the country and every region impacted by terrorist activity.

In 2022, Burkina Faso experienced two coups that contributed to the region’s instability. These internal threats made the country more vulnerable to external threats by Al Qaeda’s West Africa affiliate, Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin, the group that has been the main perpetrator of terrorist attacks, with civilians being the primary targets. In a recent article from the Bloomberg publishing group, Human Rights Watch reports that in 2023, Burkina Faso accounted for one in every four terrorism deaths globally.

Burkina Faso accounted for one in every four terrorism deaths globally.

Civilians were the most targeted group in Burkina Faso for the fifth consecutive year, accounting for over 1,000 of the deaths, according to the institute.

In a January report, Human Rights Watch accused the Burkinabe army of atrocities and the killing of at least 60 civilians since August, some of whom died in drone strikes. Islamist insurgents, security forces, and pro-government militias “are all responsible for serious abuses, further degrading Burkina Faso’s human rights and humanitarian situation,” Human Rights Watch said. In a crackdown on dissent, the junta is increasingly abducting civil society activists and political opponents.

Last month, the United Nations reported over 2 million individuals are internally displaced in the West African nation, with women and children forming the majority. This influx has worsened the humanitarian crisis as conflict has forced people from their homes and farms, pushing them into overcrowded urban areas or makeshift camps.

Both aid organizations and the government struggle to address this crisis, hindered by insufficient funds and escalating needs. One out of every four individuals requires assistance, and tens of thousands are on the brink of “catastrophic levels of hunger.” Not even half of the $800 million requested last year by aid groups for the humanitarian response budget has been funded.

Please continue to pray for the church in Burkina Faso. Many of our friends are near the borders of Mali and Niger, areas most threatened by the terrorists.

Please pray for the mission agencies that are still active in Burkina Faso (WEC, AoG, SIM, IMB, CMA, WBT, and CAPRO, among others).

Tom Castor

Thomas Castor, founder of Clear and Simple Media Group, is a seasoned writer and communicator who has been delivering content with clarity and simplicity for 30 years.