At least 480 civilians in Burkina Faso are reported to have been killed in terrorist attacks carried out by insurgents between May and August this year, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said on Monday.
In a statement, the NGO (NGO) said that attacks by armed groups in the cities of Solhan and Arbinda, the two deadliest in the country’s recent history, “forced more than 275,000 people to flee a new outbreak of violence” since April.
About 55,000 people have been forced to flee their homes every month since April, almost three times the average monthly number between October 2020 and March 2021, it said.
In total, more than 1.4 million people have been forced to flee their homes in Burkina Faso due to the attacks.
“Despite the (sky-high) conflict, the humanitarian operation to help people in need is far behind,” said Manenji Mangundu, head of the NRC in Burkina Faso.
“A critical lack of aid funding, combined with a lack of capacity from local authorities, is preventing aid organizations like ours from responding in a timely manner,” Mangundu added.
According to the NGO, the failure to meet urgent humanitarian needs forces vulnerable families to “make an impossible choice between feeding their children and their own safety.”
Many people reportedly would rather return home to access their food stores and feed their families but fear attacks.
It appealed to the government to allow it to provide support in the worst-affected areas.
“Aid organizations have the capacity to help people in the most inaccessible areas where there is an urgent need, which complements the authorities’ essential work,” says Mangundu.
Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger are often subjected to attacks organized by elements linked to the Daesh terrorist group, which is active in the greater Sahel region along with other terrorist groups. Last month, an ambush by militants in Burkina Faso left more than 80 people dead.