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about fifty women kidnapped by suspected jihadists in the north

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About fifty women were kidnapped Thursday and Friday by jihadists around the town of Arbinda, in northern Burkina Faso – an area under blockade by jihadist groups, the Burkinabè government announced.

Around fifty women were kidnapped on Thursday and Friday by jihadists in northern Burkina Faso, the Burkinabè government announced on Monday (January 16th).

According to the testimony of several residents and local officials wishing to remain anonymous, a first group of about forty women was kidnapped about ten kilometers south-east of Arbinda and another of about twenty the next day north of this municipality. Some were able to escape and return to their villages to testify.

“The women have gathered to go pick leaves and wild fruits in the bush because there is nothing left to eat”, explained one of the inhabitants, adding that they had left with their carts during the day of Thursday. “On Thursday evening, not seeing them return, we thought that their carts had had a problem. But three survivors came back to tell us what happened,” added another resident.

According to him, the next day, eight kilometers north of Arbinda, about twenty women who were not informed of the first kidnapping, were in turn victims of a kidnapping. “In both groups, women managed to escape the vigilance of the terrorists and returned to the village on foot,” he explained.

“We believe the kidnappers took them to their various bases,” he continued.

According to local officials who confirmed the abductions, the army and its civilian auxiliaries searched the area, without success.

An area under blockade by jihadist groups

The commune of Arbinda is located in the Sahel region, in the north of Burkina Faso, an area under blockade by jihadist groups and which is hardly supplied with food.

Nearly a million people currently live in areas under blockade, in the north or east of the country, according to the United Nations.

Burkina Faso, particularly in its northern half, has been confronted since 2015 with increasing attacks by jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. They left thousands dead and at least two million displaced.

Captain Ibrahim Traoré, transitional president resulting from a military coup on September 30 – the second in eight months – has set himself the objective of “recapturing the territory occupied by these hordes of terrorists”.

With AFP

France 24-Trans

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