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Burkina Faso: At Least 50 Women Kidnapped By Islamic Extremists

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Burkina Faso: At Least 50 Women Kidnapped By Jihadis

(CTN NEWS) – DAKAR, Senegal –  In Burkina Faso’s northern Sahel area last week, at least 50 women were kidnapped by Islamic extremists, a local official claimed on Monday.

Approximately 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the village of Arbinda in the Soum province, the kidnappings took place on January 12 and 13, according to a statement from Lt. Col. P.F. Rodolphe Sorgho, the governor of the Sahel.

He said the women were abducted while collecting wild fruit in the wilderness.

Thousands of people have been killed, and almost 2 million have been displaced in Burkina Faso as a result of jihadi violence linked to both al-Qaida and the Islamic State organization.

Burkina Faso: At Least 50 Women Kidnapped By Jihadis

IMAGE: AP

Due to consecutive governments’ failures to end the conflict, there were two military coups in 2022, the second of which was an attempt to overthrow the previous military regime.

With a promise to restore security, the military junta that took control in September is still battling to stop the violence.

According to an internal report for assistance organizations seen by The Associated Press, 116 security incidents were reported during the second week of this month.

The figure indicates an increase of more than 60% from the final week of December.

Extremists have surrounded towns all around the nation, obstructing the free flow of people and commerce.

Displaced families near Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, last year after fleeing jihadist attacks in the country’s north and east. About 50 women are reported to have been abducted by militants near Arbinda. Photograph: Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images

According to rights organizations, the town of Arbinda has been under Islamist blockade for years, rendering women more susceptible to violence if they attempt to flee.

Boureima Werem, a former mayor of Arbinda, claimed that the widespread kidnappings were a novel approach and might signal a change in the extremists’ strategies.

The kidnappings in Burkina Faso have been dubbed “a very alarming and dangerous development that exposes the vulnerability of women in places under blockade,” according to Ousmane Diallo, a researcher at Amnesty International’s regional office for Central and West Africa.

All parties to the conflict “must defend the rights of civilians and their rights to their livelihoods,” Diallo said.

In these besieged communities, “the government needs to pay more attention and provide more safety for people, but (also) (a) specialised approach to the protection of women and girls.”

/ GETTY IMAGE

The CEO of Intelonyx Intelligence Advisory, Laith Alkhouri, claimed the jihadis are attempting to exert more pressure on the Burkinabe administration.

Alkhouri asserted that kidnappings are a powerful negotiating tool and a simple method to score points.

These methods “are designed to increase public pressure on the government to make concessions, such as ransom money, and to emphasize the ruling body as unable to defend its inhabitants.

Instilling dread among the populace and fostering mistrust between the public and the government.”

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