Burkina Faso: Infants among 60 people abducted last week

Burkina Faso: Infants among 60 people abducted last week

Babies are among the 60 people kidnapped by suspected jihadists in northern Burkina Faso last week, the Djibo (north) prosecutor said Thursday, announcing the opening of an investigation.

“On January 14, my prosecutor’s office was informed by judicial police officers of the case of abduction of around sixty women and infants by unidentified armed men near the town of Arbinda (North),” the prosecutor’s office wrote in a press release. The previous assessment reported about fifty abducted women.

Investigations opened immediately

“These kidnappings were reportedly carried out on January 12 and 13 respectively in the villages of Liki-Boukouma with around forty victims and Sirigni with around twenty victims,” ​​he explained.

“The victims were looking for edible wild leaves and fruits when they were arrested and taken to the towns of Gasseliki and Gorguel,” said the prosecutor, specifying that “an immediate investigation had been launched to identify and challenge the perpetrators.” .

Jihadist blockade

Arbinda is in the Sahel, an area blocked by jihadist groups that is difficult to access with food, forcing residents to seek food outside of the villages. On Monday, Sahel Governor Lieutenant Colonel Rodolphe Sorgho said a search was being carried out in the north of the country for these abductees.

“All means are being used to find these women on the ground and in the air,” a security source added to AFP, ensuring “planes are flying over the area to detect suspicious movement.” Since 2015, Burkina Faso has faced increasing attacks by jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, particularly in its northern half. They left thousands dead and at least two million displaced.