Burkina Faso

  1. Two million forced from homes in Sahel violence - UN

    Women sit outside their shelter, in camp for internally displaced people in Barsalogho, in Burkina Faso -  January 2020 -
    Image caption: Barsalogho, a small town in Burkina Faso, is hosting thousands of people who have fled their homes

    The UN refugee agency says more than two million people have been displaced within their own countries by what it called the unrelenting violence in the Sahel region in Africa.

    The UNHCR said this was the highest number ever, and warned that the communities hosting the refugees in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Niger were at breaking point.

    The four countries are among the least developed in the world.

    The Sahel region is plagued by intercommunal violence and a series of conflicts involving Islamist groups.

    The UNHCR said the situation was made worse by food insecurity, climate change, and the coronavirus pandemic.

  2. Six killed in northern Burkina Faso attack

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    Six people, including two fighters from a Burkinabe civilian volunteer force, were killed in a suspected militant attack in the Nord Region on Monday.

    Local officials cited by AFP said around 100 gunmen raided Loumbila village that is near the border with Mali, killing six and seriously wounding three others.

    Burkina Faso formed the Volunteer Force for the Defence of the Fatherland (VDP) a year ago to bolster efforts by vigilante groups operating in the volatile northern and eastern regions.

    Dozens of VDP fighters have been killed in counterinsurgency operations and attacks by Islamic State and al-Qaeda’s Sahel militants from neighbouring Mali.

  3. Missing vigilantes 'found dead' in northern Burkina Faso

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    A map of Burkina Faso

    The site Infowakat.net reports that the bodies of four vigilantes have been found in the Sahel region of northern Burkina Faso.

    Infowakat.net cites local and security sources.

    The four went missing on 31 December and on Sunday residents of Kelbo village discovered the four fighters' bodies.

    Terrorism continues to spread in the Sahel region. The Burkinabe armed forces have started to adapt and, for several months, have been able to inflict heavy losses on armed groups.

    However, civilians continue to pay the heaviest price in this war.

    On 10 December 2019, members of these armed groups murdered the head of the village of Kelbo in an ambush between Dablo and Barsalogho in the Centre-Nord region.

  4. Burkina Faso council confirms President Kaboré's win

    Lalla Sy

    BBC News

    Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré
    Image caption: Mr Kaboré has secured a second term in office

    The Constitutional Council in Burkina Faso has confirmed the victory of Roch Marc Christian Kaboré in the November presidential election.

    Mr Kaboré secured a second term by garnering 57.7% of the vote.

    His main challenger Eddie Komboigo of the Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP), the party of former president Blaise Compaoré, came in second with 15.54% of the votes

    Mr Komboigo was among 13 candidates running for president in an election which also included legislative races, which will be announced next week.

    The presidential results published by the Constitutional Council are not subject to appeal.

    More than 5.9 million people were eligible take part in last month's poll but just under three million voted, the Constitutional Council said.

    Some polling stations didn't open because of the security situation in some parts of the country.

  5. France could negotiate with 'enemy' forces in Sahel

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    A French soldier clears mines in Burkina Faso
    Image caption: The former colonial power has 5,100 soldiers in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger

    France's chief of defence staff has not ruled out the idea of negotiating with hostile forces operating in Africa’s Sahel region.

    France, which has more than 5,000 troops in the region, has often stated publicly that there must be no negotiation with militant Islamist groups.

    However General François Lecointre told Radio France International that negotiating with the "enemy" was possible – although he stressed this was a decision for the politicians to make.

    In Mali – where jihadist attacks are common – the authorities have recently become open to the idea of dialogue in order to help end the escalating violence.

    In neighbouring Burkina Faso, President Marc Roch Kaboré has strongly opposed any negotiations.

    More on this topic:

  6. President Kaboré wins five more years in Burkina Faso

    Lalla Sy

    BBC West Africa reporter

    Roch Christian Marc Kaboré
    Image caption: President Roch Christian Marc Kaboré was first elected in 2015

    Roch Christian Marc Kaboré has been re-elected for a second five-year term as the president of Burkina Faso.

    He took 58% of the vote, according to results released by the electoral commission.

    His nearest rival, Eddie Komboïgo of the former ruling Congress for Democracy and Progress, got 16% of the vote.

    The marks a comeback of sorts for the party of Blaise Compaore, who was ousted in 2014 after 27 years on power.

    Official turnout figures show that just over half of those registered to vote took part in the poll, which was marred by threats of violence from Islamist militant groups, meaning many polling stations were unable to open.

    These provisional results now need to be confirmed by the Constitutional Court.

    Early results started being announced on Monday, but announcements were briefly suspended after criticism by the opposition about the method of counting.

  7. Violence fears force early polls closure in Burkina Faso

    n electoral official holds up a ballot as counting of the votes started after the closing of a polling station during the first round of the presidential election in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 22 November 2020

    Dozens of polling stations in Burkina Faso closed early on Sunday due to security threats, according to the head of the electoral commission.

    The country has suffered from an escalating jihadist conflict.

    Hundreds of thousands of people were already unable to cast their ballots because Islamist violence has rendered parts of the north and east too dangerous.

    Analysts expect a tight contest, as President Roch Kaboré seeks a second five-year term.

    Mr Kaboré's opponents accuse him of failing to stop the jihadist attacks, which have killed more than 2,000 people this year.

    Read more:

  8. Fourteen Burkinabe soldiers killed in ambush

    Map of Burkina Faso

    Fourteen Burkinabe soldiers were killed after suspected militants ambushed them in the northern part of the country.

    The attack happened in Oudalan province, near the borders with Mali and Niger, according to the ministry of communication.

    The ministry said on Thursday that security forces had been deployed to the area to track down the perpetrators.

    The attack was carried out on Wednesday.

    President Roch Kaboré has suspended his campaigns for 48 hours in honour of the soldiers who died.

    Burkina Faso is set to hold presidential elections on 22 November.

    President Kaboré has promised peace if re-elected and urged the opposition not to use terrorism as a campaign tool.

  9. Burkina Faso leader launches re-election campaign

    President Roch Kaboré
    Image caption: President Roch Kaboré (C) was first elected in December 2015 after months of political unrest

    Burkina Faso's President Roch Kaboré has launched his re-election campaign promising to deal with the growing threat of Islamist militancy facing the country.

    He faulted his opponents for making the threat a campaign issue.

    "I come to ask for five more years so that together we work for the security, stability, peace and resilience of the Burkinabe people," Mr Kaboré said.

    He has been facing criticism over his handling of the Islamist insurgency, a threat that has spread across the Sahel region.

    The elections will be held on 22 November.

    Read more:

  10. French air strikes in Mali kill dozens of militants

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    A map of the Sahel region

    France says its forces have killed more than 50 jihadists in air strikes in central Mali.

    The French defence minister, Florence Parly, who is in Mali, said the al-Qaeda affiliated militants had been killed on Friday near the borders with Burkina Faso and Niger.

    She said weapons and other equipment had been seized.

    Ms Parly said France would continue to support the Malian army in its efforts against the jihadists, who operate across the Sahel.

    There had been concern that a coup in Mali in August would disrupt counter-insurgency efforts.

    More than 5,000 French troops are stationed in the region, but they have been unable to contain the militants.

    The vast semi-desert region is also affected by ethnic violence, human and drug trafficking, and banditry.

    Read more:

  11. Court clears 13 Burkinabe presidential candidates

    President Roch Kaboré
    Image caption: President Roch Kaboré is seeking a second term

    Thirteen candidates have been cleared to run for the presidency in Burkina Faso's elections scheduled for 22 November.

    President Roch Kaboré, who is seeking a second term, and opposition leader Zephirin Diabre were among those allowed to contest.

    Others include the former ruling Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) party's candidate Eddie Komboigo.

    The constitutional court did not clear one candidate, Kindo Harouna, because he did not pay the required nomination fee.

    Eight presidential candidates and 22 opposition parties signed an agreement in August to rally behind any candidate who will reach the second round of the elections to boost chances of unseating President Kaboré.

  12. Sahel worries top UN humanitarian 'most'

    The UN's humanitarian chief has told BBC Focus on Africa that the "place that worries [him] most" is the central Sahel.

    Mark Lowcock of Ocha pointed to conflicts arising from people having to compete for already strained resources - and the combination of "low development", high poverty, accelerating climate change and rapid population growth.

    "You're seeing clashes, for example, between farming families and families who make a living through nomadic pastoralism," Mr Lowcock said.

    "All of those things, together with the fact that this is not the region where the empowerment of women and girls is advanced as much as in some other places, are causing grievances."

    His comments come as the UN hopes to raise $1bn (£770m) with a virtual donor conference hosted with Denmark, Germany and the EU.

    Armed militia operate in the Sahel, which has become a frontline in the war against Islamist militancy for almost a decade.

    "The extremist groups are one manifestation of that, there's also an uptick in organised crime," Mr Lowcock told the BBC.

    He said that people being forced from their homes is "a symptom of these underlying problems".

    "Not much short of two million people are now displaced across the region - a massive increase over the last couple of years."

    Listen in full:

    Video content

    Video caption: Mark Lowcock says more than 13 million people in the region need help
  13. Video content

    Video caption: Several African countries hit by devasating floods

    Millions of people have been affected by floods in sub-Saharan Africa; in Senegal a year's worth of rain fell in just 24 hours.

  14. UN: Half a million Burkinabè children severely malnourished

    Mary Harper

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    An abandoned school building
    Image caption: Islamists have forced families from their homes and communities

    The UN children's agency, Unicef, says some 535,000 children in Burkina Faso are suffering from acute malnutrition.

    Unicef says many of those affected have been displaced by jihadist and ethnic conflicts.

    The coronavirus pandemic had made the situation worse, it adds, restricting access to food and healthcare.

    More than 150,000 of the affected children have been classed as severely malnourished, which means they are nine times more likely to die than well-nourished children.

    There has been an upsurge of Islamist violence in Burkina Faso in recent months.

    More about Burkina Faso:

  15. Burkina Faso opposition to unite behind one candidate

    Opposition leader Zéphirin Diabré
    Image caption: The opposition leader Zéphirin Diabré (pictured) and seven other candidates signed the agreement

    The opposition in Burkina Faso has agreed to rally behind any challenger to President Roch Kaboré who reaches the second round in November's elections.

    Eight presidential candidates and 22 opposition parties signed the agreement on Tuesday.

    Should two opposition candidates reach the second round, then their respective parties would support them, the agreement states.

    The first round of the presidential election will be held on 22 November.

    Opposition leader Zéphirin Diabré said the agreement was "historic" and would enable "the writing of a new chapter", according to AFP news agency.

  16. Jihadists 'target sleeping villagers' in Cameroon

    Will Ross

    Africa editor, BBC World Service

    A man riding a bike in Maroua in northern Cameroon, 2020
    Image caption: Boko Haram began its attacks in Cameroon's Far North region in 2014

    Suspected Islamist Boko Haram militants have killed 15 sleeping people and wounded six others in a grenade attack in northern Cameroon, reports say.

    A security source and a local official told the Reuters news agency that the attackers targeted a camp for displaced people in the village of Nguetchewe, close to the border with Nigeria.

    The victims - including women and children - were asleep when the assailants arrived.

    Boko Haram has been fighting in north-east Nigeria for over a decade but has also been active in Cameroon, Chad and Niger. A regional military operation has failed to stop the attacks.

    Donkey cart attack

    Meanwhile, in northern Burkina Faso at least six people, most of them children, have been killed after a donkey cart ran over an improvised explosive device (IED) in a region which has seen many jihadist attacks.

    A security source told a French news agency that four other people were injured and had been taken to a hospital in the nearby Ouahigouya town.

    The victims were returning from grazing with their animals.

    Since 2015 Burkina Faso has seen an upsurge in Islamist violence – spreading from Mali - and more than 1,000 people have been killed and a million have fled their homes.

    Map of countries in West Africa affected by jihadist violence