Armed groups blockade key town in Burkina Faso

Ahmed Dicko, a businessman originally from Djibo, is seen at his fundraiser to gather supplies for the civilians inside the blocked city Ahmed Dicko, a businessman originally from Djibo, is seen at his fundraiser to gather supplies for the civilians inside the blocked city Al Jazeera

12 June 2020

Food and medicine have been unable to reach Djibo after fighters set up roadblocks

Armed groups with potential links to the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and Jama'at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM) have blocked supplies from entering the city of Djibo amid violence and fighting in Burkina Faso. The groups set up a blockade to try to cut off connection from Djibo to the capital Ouagadougou. Fighters have been seen stopping unescorted vehicles from entering the city which is home to nearly 40,000 civilians.

Djibo, in the northern Soum province, has been in control of the fighters since February 2020. The government has since been unable to deliver essential aid packages to the civilians in the city. The armed groups have a pattern of attacking small towns and villages, but the act of maintaining anti-government blockades is an escalation that the groups have not been known to carry out. Almost 800,000 civilians have been displaced from their homes since the conflict began. 

A well-known businessman, Ahmed Dicko, assembled a group of volunteers to deliver food and supplies to the city. Dicko’s plan to create the group came after the capital lost almost all connection to Djibo. Human rights groups fear that the central government in Burkina Faso does not have the necessary resources to stop the spread of violence. In January, the government passed a law allowing civilians to be armed in hopes that they would be able to protect themselves. 

 

To read more, please visit:

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/06/desperation-grows-fighters-blockade-key-burkina-faso-town-200611134121376.html

https://reliefweb.int/report/burkina-faso/sahel-crisis-responding-urgent-needs-refugees-internally-displaced-returnees-and

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/dozens-killed-separate-burkina-faso-attacks-200531194701637.html

 

Author: Vito Quaglia

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