According to the testimony of several residents and local officials, a first group of about forty women was kidnapped about ten kilometers south-east of Arbinda and another of about twenty the next day north of this town.
Around 50 women were abducted Thursday and Friday by suspected jihadists in Arbinda, in northern Burkina Faso, local officials and residents of this town regularly affected by violence told AFP.
According to the testimony of several residents and local officials wishing to remain anonymous, a first group of about forty women was kidnapped about ten kilometers south-east of Arbinda and another of about twenty the next day north of this municipality. Some were able to escape and return to their villages to testify.
Two waves of kidnappings
“The women have gathered to pick leaves and wild fruits in the bush because there is nothing left to eat.“Explained one of the residents, adding that they had left with their carts on Thursday. “On Thursday evening, not seeing them return, we thought that their carts had had a problem. But three survivors came back to tell us what happenedadded another resident.
According to him, the next day, eight kilometers north of Arbinda, about twenty women who were not informed of the first kidnapping, were in turn victims of a kidnapping. “In both groups, women managed to escape the vigilance of the terrorists and returned to the village on foot.he explained. “We believe that the kidnappers took them to their various bases“, he continued. According to local officials who confirmed the abductions, the army and its civilian auxiliaries searched the area, without success.
Numerous jihadist attacks since 2015
The commune of Arbinda is located in the Sahel region, in the north of Burkina Faso, an area under blockade by jihadist groups and which is hardly supplied with food. Nearly a million people currently live in areas under blockade, in the north or east of the country, according to the United Nations.
Burkina Faso, particularly in its northern half, has been confronted since 2015 with increasing attacks by jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. They left thousands dead and at least two million displaced. Captain Ibrahim Traoré, transitional president resulting from a military coup on September 30 – the second in eight months – has set himself the objective of “the reconquest of the territory occupied by these hordes of terrorists“.