Burkina Faso: Problems
BURKINA FASO: PROBLEMS
Sam Mednick on the humanitarian crisis developing in Burkina Faso.
People with no homes waiting by the side of the road after escaping after attacks in Barsalogho, in northcentral Burkina Faso. TOM PEYRE-COSTA/NORWEGIAN REFUGEE COUNCIL
People used to say that in Burkina Faso, people from different religions lived together in peace. But now there are many attacks linked to Islamist militants, local defence militias and the army. There is a lot of violence. This year, almost 1,800 people were killed up to August – so one million people left their homes and 11,000 people now have no food.
In 2014, the dictator President, Blaise Compaoré, had to leave after 27 years in power. And the instability started. Without his special forces, the army didn’t have enough power to stop the jihadist militant groups coming from Mali. These groups got support from people in poor communities who were fighting for their land and resources.
The army gets help from the US and the French, but has problems. People say the soldiers and groups make the fighting worse, for example by using violence against Fulanis for working with jihadists.
Corinne Dufka, West Africa director for Human Rights Watch, said that these are war crimes and really do not help. They are making so many angry men join the jihadists to get revenge.
No-one can enter many areas of the country because of violence, for example in the north, Sahel and east regions. Aid groups, which have too much work and too little money, are finding it very difficult to help.
In November there will be elections. But people are already saying they will not be legal because the main political parties voted to change the electoral code. They will now allow votes from people in areas of violence even if those people can’t vote.
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(This article is in easier English so it is possible that we changed the words, the text structure, and the quotes.)