Nearly 300 000 flee jihadist violence in Burkina Faso - UN

Internally Displaced People (IDP) from northern Burkina Faso flee intercommunal clashes, which have already killed a hundred people in a few weeks. (Olympia de Maismont, AFP)
Internally Displaced People (IDP) from northern Burkina Faso flee intercommunal clashes, which have already killed a hundred people in a few weeks. (Olympia de Maismont, AFP)

Jihadist violence in Burkina Faso has forced nearly 300 000 people to flee their homes and stopped half a million getting access to health care, the UN and the Red Cross said on Monday.

A former French colony that ranks among the world's poorest countries, Burkina Faso has been struggling with an Islamist militant revolt since 2015.

It spilled over from neighbouring Mali, beginning in the north of the country before spreading to the east. Since 2015, more than 500 people have died in attacks that have become increasingly violent, according to a toll compiled by AFP.

"Nearly 289 000 displaced people are living in shelters," the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement, adding that the number of displaced had more than tripled this year from 82 000 in January.

The International Committee of the Red Cross in a separate statement warned that "500 000 people have been deprived of health care since January due to jihadist violence".

The violence had hit 125 health centres in August, shutting down 60 of them and forcing the other 65 to function only partially.

"Many health workers have been forced to leave rural zones hit by violence," it said.

"Famine and malnutrition constitute a major worry with 1.2 million people facing food insecurity," ICRC said.

It has provided food aid to 22 000 displaced people and medical assistance to 21 000 people in the first half of this year, it added.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When planning for the Black Friday sales do you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Save, research and plan ahead, preparing to make the most of it?
8% - 848 votes
Wait and see what looks like a good deal on the day?
14% - 1605 votes
Have no interest in spending more money this year?
78% - 8704 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.42
(-0.01)
ZAR/GBP
20.51
(+0.02)
ZAR/EUR
18.24
(+0.33)
ZAR/AUD
11.22
(+0.50)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(+0.56)
Gold
1838.62
(-1.77)
Silver
23.55
(-2.60)
Platinum
921.00
(-2.22)
Brent Crude
45.11
(0.00)
Palladium
2347.00
(+1.10)
All Share
57147.31
(+0.94)
Top 40
52478.55
(+1.08)
Financial 15
11337.90
(+0.62)
Industrial 25
79917.53
(+1.49)
Resource 10
51771.17
(+0.65)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo