Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso: Armed attacks in Arbinda, Flash Update (5 April 2019)

Situation Report
Originally published


This Flash Report is produced by OCHA in collaboration with humanitarian partners.


  • On 31 March 2019, armed attackers stormed the city of Arbinda killing a local religious leader and six family members.

  • The attack has sparked intercommunal clashes in several villages around Arbinda, claiming more than 60 lives.

  • Verification is ongoing to determine the number of people displaced by the latest violence. Arbinda was already home to more than 14,000 IDPs.

  • Priority needs of the affected people include water, food, shelter, non-food items (NFI), and protection.

  • The Government has started providing first assistance with food and NFI.

  • UN agencies and NGOs are planning emergency response based on identified gaps.

  • Access to the area remains difficult due to insecurity.


On 31 March, armed attackers stormed the city of Arbinda, in Soum province in the Sahel region, killing a local religious leader and six members of his family. The attack sparked intercommunal clashes in several villages around Arbinda, leading to the death of more than 60 people. Many families have fled their homes, and verification is ongoing to determine the total number of new displacements following the latest violence. In fear of retaliatory attacks, between 200 and 300 people belonging to the Fulani ethnic group are currently sheltering at the mayor’s office compound under protection by security forces. Many of the IDPs have fled from Belahouro, one of the attacked villages. Arbinda city was already hosting 14,289 IDPs preceding the attack.

Armed attacks and insecurity in Burkina Faso’s Est, Centre-Nord, Nord and Sahel regions have triggered an unprecedented humanitarian emergency. Nearly 136,000 people have been uprooted from their homes, over half of them since the start of 2019. Some 357 schools have been reopened in March, 954 schools remain closed, leaving some 119,000 children without education. About 250,000 people do not have access to medical care as health centres have been forced shut or have cut back services. Humanitarian organizations are scaling up operations to support the Government-led response and provide life-saving assistance and protection to the displaced and other people in need. In 2019, the humanitarian community is appealing for $100 million to assist 900,000 most vulnerable people among the 1.2 million in need of assistance. As of 2 April, 20 per cent of the funds had been provided.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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