Guterres says justice must be done following deadly Burkina Faso convoy attack

OCHA/Otto Bakano More than 100,000 people have been uprooted from their homes due to intercommunity clashes and two main sites have been set up for the displaced in Barsalogho and Foubé localities in Centre-Nord region, Burkina Faso.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Authorities in Burkina Faso must “do everything in their power” to bring to justice the perpetrators of an attack on a mining company convoy in the West African nation on Wednesday, which killed dozens and left scores more injured, the UN chief said on Thursday.

“The Secretary-General conveys his condolences to the families of the deceased, as well as to the people and Government of Burkina Faso and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured”, his Spokesperson told reporters in New York.

Montreal-based mining company, Semafo, said five of its buses carrying workers, escorted by Burkina Faso military personnel, were attacked while traveling to an open-pit gold mine in the eastern part of the country, according to media reports.

The ambush represents one of the deadliest attacks in a recent spate of violence in the historically-calm landlocked nation, which has been infiltrated by jihadists, active for years in neighbouring Mali.

Increased bloodshed has forced hundreds-of-thousands of people to flee their homes, igniting a fast-growing humanitarian crisis.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for Wednesday’s incident, which Secretary-General António Guterres has called a “heinous act” against the country’s people.

During a Security Council meeting on peace in Africa last month, Mr. Guterres declared that the sprawl of terrorist networks is a growing, transnational threat to the continent, with a pervasive climate crisis exacerbating violence, and straining resources.

Extremist groups have exploited existing divides within rival pastoralist communities, already competing for access to limited natural resources.

In a span of just three weeks, the number of displaced in Burkina Faso has increased by nearly 70 percent, around half a million people, in a nation of 20 million, according to UN figures.

Reiterating the UN’s commitment to supporting nation, engulfed by violence, the Secretary-General highlighted “the full support of the United Nations to the Government of Burkina Faso in its continuing efforts to ensure peace and stability in the country.”

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