15 November 2023 - Burkina Faso

Save the Children calls for urgent investigation after at least 70 civilians, including children, killed in Burkina Faso massacre

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OUAGADOUGOU, 15 November 2023 - Save the Children is calling for an urgent investigation in Burkina Faso into the massacre of at least 70 civilians, mostly children and elderly people.

The attack  took place in the village of Zaongo, 100kms (about 60 miles) north of the capital Ouagadougou on 5 November but has only just come to light in a statement shared a by the Tribunal prosecutor of the City of Kaya. Kaya is home to a large number of internally displaced people.  Across Burkina Faso about 2 million people have been uprooted by fighting, making it one of the worst internal displacement crises in Africa.

Benoit Delsarte, Save the Children Country Director in Burkina Faso, said:

“This incident is a grave reminder that children bear the brunt of conflict and insecurity in Burkina Faso. Children only ask to live in a safe environment, where they can learn and live to their full potential.  In this horrific attack, they were denied this simple request.  And, For the children who survived, they will have witnessed their peers lose their lives, and their suffering may last for years.

“The perpetrators of these crimes against children must be held to account and brought to justice. Impunity for violations of children’s rights feed into the narrative that these crimes are acceptable and can create cycles of violence.

“Save the Children calls on the government of Burkina Faso to respond to all forms of violence, in all contexts, as this is essential to ensure children’s rights to survival, development and well-being. The seriousness of this incident requires that the competent authorities carry out investigations thoroughly with a view to identifying and bringing those responsible to justice.”

Save the Children began working in Burkina Faso in 1982 and implement programmes in child health, education and protection. These programmes focus on improving maternal and child health, addressing malnutrition and food insecurity, promoting school enrolment, particularly for girls, ending child marriage and keeping children safe, as well as raising awareness of children’s rights.


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