Ongoing violence leads to widespread displacement in Boucle du Mouhoun

Two young boys towing a can of water  in order to distribute water to community, Burkina Faso Two young boys towing a can of water in order to distribute water to community, Burkina Faso MattLphotography on shutterstock

The growing crisis in Burkina Faso has expanded into its Boucle du Mouhoun region, where violence, starvation, and disease place thousands in danger.

Roughly 6,700 people have had to flee their homes in Boucle de Mouhoun, seeking refuge in Dédougou, where there is a medical center supported by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). This rampant displacement comes as a result of increased armed attacks in the region throughout July.

The nation of Burkina Faso has endured armed conflict from both state and non-state groups since 2015, as a result of the crisis in Central Sahel expanding. Tensions increased in 2021, as Burkina Faso became a hotspot for violence, including attacks and abductions of civilians. The nation has a population of 20 million, yet more than 1.5 million people have been displaced. Previously, Boucle du Mouhoun was less impacted by this ongoing violence than other regions of the nation. However, these past few months demonstrate a drastic shift in this crisis. 

Over 5,000 consultations, mostly for those who were forced out of their homes, have been conducted by MSF. Illness and injuries from attacks and displacement are only exacerbated by widespread starvation, as well as the malaria epidemic. Lastly, civilians are suffering from the psychological consequences of witnessing violence, fleeing their homes, and losing loved ones. This impact also requires intensive care just as physical ailments do, but is often neglected in times of crisis. As this issue progresses, MSF offers Boucle de Mouhoun citizens resources for both their physical and mental health. However, they are also faced with insecurity and threat of attack as armed forces continue to infiltrate the area. 

 

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by Nicole Piusienski

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