A delegation of Aid to the Church in Need led by the Director of the Foundation’s Italian National Office, Alessandro Monteduro who recently visited the camps of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Burkina Faso have reported that there are almost 800,000 displaced people and more than 2,300 schools are closed as a result of the violence that has recently befallen Burkina Faso stressing that the scenario is really very worrying.
Attacks by jihadist groups that sow terror and destruction are causing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in this part of Africa, says Alessandro Monteduro, expressing the fear that if action is not taken quickly, there is a risk of a situation similar to that which occurred in Iraq with the Christian community.
“In the province of Dori alone, 110 villages have been abandoned,” describes Alessandro Monteduro, after being in four refugee camps located in the northern Kaya region. In Pazani, on the outskirts of the capital Ouagadougou, the ACN team met hundreds of people who fled the terrorists.
“It is a huge humanitarian crisis”, he added.
In the Dori region, for example, they had a meeting with some of the catechists who were forced to leave their homes and the villages where they lived because of the threat “from Islamic extremists” who want to constitute “a new caliphate”.
“In Kaya, we found 50 families forced to leave their village in fear of the jihadists. As in Iraq, in 2014”, the populations “are on the run”.
In one of the meetings with the local structures of the Catholic Church, Alessandro Monteduro met with Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo. The Archbishop of Ouagadougou was perplexed by the scale of the violence that has engulfed the country, questioning who finances terrorists and who provides them with weapons. The issue is very significant because it is not uncommon to have reports that the security forces have been shown to be unable to confront terrorists because they have worse weapons than they do.
The flight of populations creates a void that is unlikely to be filled in the near future. Fear drives people away and without effective security conditions, villages will become ghost places that look like the triumph of terror.