UNICEF Burkina Faso Humanitarian Situation Report, January - March 2017
Overview and Background
Located in Sahel region of Burkina Faso, Soum is the largest of four provinces in the region. The province has been affected by rapidly deteriorating security since the end of 2016, due to successive terrorist threats perpetrated by non-state armed actors. The most affected communes are bordering the northern Mali and are in the rural areas, including the districts of Nassoumbou, Diguel, Baraboulé, Koutougou and Tongomayel. These terrorist threats or attacks targeting schools and security posts (gendarme and police) have caused a widespread fear among population, and the closure of over an estimated 500 schools in the region.
Meanwhile, two Malian refugee camps of Goudebou (in Seno province) and Mentao (in Soum province) in the region have not been targeted nor affected by the insecurity. The host communities, on the other hand, are more and more affected by insecurity, particularly in terms of their limited access to social services(education, health, nutrition, protection).
Access to Education: Despite the terrorist attack on 16 December 2016 in Nassoumbou on the military detachment, in which at least 12 soldiers were killed, the situation in Soum appeared to be under control and the second quarter of the school year was underway. However, on 26 January 2017, non-state armed actors threatened teachers in three schools ordering them to teach Koranic education, prohibiting education in French. In Nassoumbou commune, primary schools were targeted by repeated terrorist attacks (Source: Ministry of Education). On 4 March, a teacher along with a civilian were murdered by the same group in Kourfayel, a village close to the Soum, capital city of Djibo.