West and Central Africa: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (22 – 28 October 2019)
AT LEAST 15 KILLED IN ARMED ATTACKS
Armed attackers on 26 and 27 October killed at least 15 people in Burkina Faso’s northern Soum province, according to media reports. Eleven bodies were found by the side of the road in Pobe-Mengao area in Soum on 27 October following an attack on the previous day. Four other bodies were found after a second raid on 27 October. Several residents of PobeMengao are reported to have fled to Djibo, the nearest major town. The recurrent attacks and insecurity have so far uprooted almost 500,000 people, a steep surge from around 80,000 at the start of 2019.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
FOUR AID WORKERS KIDNAPPED
Armed assailants on 26 October ambushed an aid organization’s vehicle, looted the medical supplies it was ferrying and burnt it down. They also abducted four aid workers on board the vehicle. The vehicle was transporting the supplies from Bangassou town in the country’s south-east to a health centre 150 km away. Attacks against aid workers have become frequent in the country where around half of the population require humanitarian assistance.
FRESH FLOODS AFFECT OVER 7,000 PEOPLE
Flooding on 19 and 20 October has affected some 7,200 people, according to the Humanitarian Action Ministry. The floods were caused by the overflowing waters of Komadougou river in the southern Diffa region. The rising waters have also inundated farms, especially pepper, the main income earner for many in the region. Humanitarian organizations in the region are supporting the local authorities’ relief efforts and have provided food and household items to the affected people. More than 240,000 people have been affected by floods since August.
BAN ON AID GROUPS’ WORK TO BE LIFTED
UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, on 25 October said Nigerian authorities had given assurance that they will lift the ban on the operations of Action Against Hunger and Mercy Corps. The authorities suspended the work of the two relief organizations in September. Mr. Lowcock, who was on a visit to Nigeria, noted that lifting the suspension would allow an immediate resumption of life-saving assistance to nearly 400,000 people who have been without food and other essential help for the last month.
OVER 300 DISPLACED IN A WEEK
Escalating armed attacks, clashes between the military and armed groups, and poor living conditions due to lack of access to assistance forced more than 300 people to flee their homes and settlements between 14 and 20 October, IOM’s latest Emergency Tracking Matrix showed. Most of the new displacements were in Gwoza and Kala-Balge localities in Borno state. Gwoza is one of the areas where the army suspended the operations of some aid groups in September.