6 June 2021 - Burkina Faso

Save the Children shocked by recent killings of children in Burkina Faso

Statement from Save the Children

Attacks on the community of Solhan, in the Sahel region, have killed more than a hundred people, including several children and people who already had fled their homes.

The Director of Save the Children in Burkina Faso, Benoît Delsarte, said he was horrified that children are victims of such atrocities, as well as others facing extremely difficult situations. He said:

"This is unfortunately another attack in the Sahel region that affects children who only want to be safe and have an education to prepare for their future."

"This heinous attack in Solhan has resulted in the deaths of several children, and has made life difficult or even impossible for hundreds more, as they had to leave their homes and schools behind. Some might have even been separated from their parents in the chaos as they were finding a way to safety."

"This attack has caused people to flee towards the provincial capital, Sebba, and other parts of the country. They will face a very precarious situation, often sheltered by communities that are already living in poverty,[1] without space to accommodate more people. Burkina Faso is the fastest growing crisis for internally displaced people in the world, and there are already more than 1.2 million in the country[2]."

"The attacks are leading to the closure of schools and the displacement of children who are left without an education, and even more vulnerable to abuse. Already 2,235 schools, more than 10% of the country’s total, have closed, affecting more than 300,000 children.

"If nothing is done and attacks continue, a whole generation of children could be at risk in an area where the recruitment of children into armed groups and the serious violations against children are increasing.

"We stand with the people of Burkina Faso in this difficult time. This is the time to act decisively to stop attacks on children.”

[1] WFP’s hungermap for 2021 estimates about 12.1 million people with insufficient food consumption in Burkina Faso. 8.4% of children under 5 face acute malnutrition while 24.9% face chronic malnutrition.

[2] https://data2.unhcr.org/en/situations/sahelcrisis/location/8650

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