Burkina Faso: Gunmen kidnap 50 women and girls in search of food


A group of women and girls searching for wild fruit were abducted by gunmen in separate incidents in Burkina Faso, the government said on Monday.

About 50 women and girls were taken in the incidents that took place on January 12 and 13, respectively, according to a statement from the governor of the country’s Sahel region.

Some of the women and girls were abducted about 15 kilometers from the town of Arbinda, while the others were taken from another town in Soum province.

“While looking for wild fruits, these women, mothers and daughters were unjustly attacked by armed men,” the statement said. It added that the search began as soon as the disappearances were reported, the statement said.

The governor of the Sahel region expressed solidarity with the families of the women on behalf of the government, adding that the authorities “will do everything possible to bring the situation to a conclusion”.

France’s foreign ministry said in a statement Monday that it condemned the kidnappings “in the strongest possible terms” and called for the women’s immediate release.

“France reaffirms its solidarity and commitment to Burkina Faso,” the statement continued.

Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in the world, has been the epicenter of violence that began in neighboring Mali in 2012 but has since spread across the barren expanse of the sub-Saharan Sahel region.

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