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Burkina Faso: Armed men kidnap 50 women and girls in search of food


A group of women and girls foraging for wild fruits have been abducted by armed men in separate incidents in Burkina Faso, the government said on Monday.

About 50 women and girls were taken away in the incidents which occurred on January 12 and 13 respectively, according to a statement from the governor of the Sahel region.

Some of the women and girls were abducted about fifteen kilometers from the town of Arbinda, while the others were taken to another locality in the province of Soum.

“While searching for wild fruits, these wives, mothers and daughters were unjustly attacked by armed men,” the statement said. He added that the search began as soon as the disappearances were reported, according to the statement.

The governor of the Sahel region expressed his solidarity with the women’s families on behalf of the government, adding that the authorities “remain determined to do everything possible to bring the situation to a successful conclusion”.

The French Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday that it condemned the kidnappings “in the strongest possible terms” and called for the immediate release of the women.

“France reaffirms its solidarity and its commitment to Burkina Faso,” the statement continued.

Burkina Faso, one of the world’s poorest countries, has been the epicenter of violence that began in neighboring Mali in 2012 but has since spread across the arid expanse of the Sahel region in south of the Sahara Desert.

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