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Ibrahim Traore (in red beret) travels in an armoured vehicle in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, October 2022 (CNS/Vincent Bado, Reuters)

Insecurity has continued in Burkina Faso, making key infrastructure like schools and hospitals dysfunctional, according to local bishops. Source: Crux.

Burkina Faso is located in Africa’s Sahel region, which separates North Africa from Sub-Saharan Africa. The area has been plagued by instability made worse by several concurrent Islamist insurgencies.

Burkina Faso has one of the largest Christian populations in the Sahel, making up nearly a quarter of the population.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Burkina-Niger complained about “a situation of persistent insecurity” on February 18, and noted that the impact on the life of the local churches has been extremely damaging.

“Overall, some thirty parishes and their associated structures (presbyteries, religious communities, health and education facilities, etc.) remain closed or inaccessible,” reads the statement made at the end of the February 12-18 Plenary Assembly in the Diocese of Kaya.

“The corollary of this is the decline of socio-economic works in some places, the casualisation of pastoral workers, the impoverishment of the population, especially in the affected areas, and the continuing phenomenon of internally displaced persons, which is causing socio-demographic upheavals in a noxious social climate,” the bishops said.

Burkina Faso has been gripped by terrorist violence for several years, with major Islamist terrorist groups active in the country aligned to ISIS.

These groups originated from Mali, but they have now been threatening to overrun a number of communities in Burkina Faso. The African Centre for Strategic Studies says the country is gradually becoming “the epicentre of violence in the Sahel”.

The country’s military leader Captain Ibrahim Traoré, who came to power through a coup, has promised to tackle the country’s security problem.

Christians are paying a disproportionate price in the predominantly Muslim nation. About 64 per cent of the population are Muslims, 9 per cent belong to traditional African religions and 26 per cent are Christians – 20 per cent Catholic and 6 per cent Protestant.


Bishops speak about persistent insecurity in Burkina Faso (By Ngala Killian Chimtom, Crux)