Burkina Faso: Armed attacks in Arbinda, Flash Update No. 2 (16 April 2019)

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KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • On 31 March, armed attackers raided Arbinda town, killing a religious leader and igniting clashes that claimed more than 60 lives.

  • Registration is underway to determine the number of people displaced by the violence.

  • On 6 April, the Government relocated 300 people from Arbinda to nearby Kelbo town after they expressed fear of retaliatory attacks.

  • Water, sanitation, shelter, basic household items and protection are the priority needs.

  • The Government and humanitarian organisations are providing assistance.

  • Access to the affected area remains difficult due to insecurity.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

On 31 March, armed attackers stormed Arbinda town in the northern 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. Arbinda was already home to 14,658 displaced people who had fled violence and insecurity prior to the 31 March attack. Registration is ongoing with the figure likely to rise. Around 80 per cent of the displaced are living with host families. The Government has relocated some 300 people from the Fulani community to Kelbo locality south of Arbinda. The Fulanis, who requested to be relocated, had initially sought refuge at the mayor’s office compound in Arbinda fearing reprisal attacks following the 31 March raid. The Government and humanitarian organizations are providing food, water, medical assistance and sanitation services to the displaced in Arbinda and in Kelbo. Insecurity, however, remains a hindrance to relief operations.

Armed attacks and insecurity in Burkina Faso’s Est, Centre-Nord, Nord and Sahel regions have triggered an unprecedented humanitarian emergency. Over 138,000 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 are affected as 18 health centres have been forced to close and 36 to 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 US$100 million to assist 900,000 most vulnerable people among the 1.2 million in need of assistance.

As of 15 April, 21 per cent of the funds had been provided.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.