West Africa Thousands of people fled the weekend massacre in Burkina Faso, most of them children

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, those fleeing their homes now desperately need water, shelter and medical supplies, among other things.

8.6. 14:44

Over 3,000 people have fled their homes in northern Burkina Faso after a violent massacre over the weekend, says the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). More than 2,000 of the fugitives are children, according to the UNHCR.

Spokesperson for the organization Babar Baloch said the fugitives left either completely without anything or with only a few items.

“Local families received them generously and shared little of what they had,” he said.

Escaped desperately need, among other things, water, shelter and medical supplies. UNHCR and its partners are providing assistance and are building 200 shelters, but Baloch says additional resources are needed.

Armed jihadists attacked the village of Solhan near the Niger-Mali border last weekend. UNHCR reports that about 140 people were executed in the attack, and in addition, dozens of people were seriously injured. According to local sources, there are at least 160 dead.

The attack is the bloodiest during the violence that began in 2015.

Read more: Local sources: The death toll from the armed attack in Burkina Faso rises to 160, the blow is the bloodiest in years

Saturday the attack, which began in the early hours, was preceded by an attack on the village of Tadaryat in the same area, killing more than a dozen people.

A few weeks earlier, armed men had fired at UNHCR and other aid vehicles on the road between the city of Dor and Gouboudo camp. Goudoubo is home to more than 12,000 Malian refugees and asylum seekers.

While no one was injured in the shooting of the vehicles, Baloch warned that the activities of armed groups in various parts of Burkina Faso, as well as growing instability, would make it significantly more difficult to provide assistance and protection. According to him, UNHCR is now working to strengthen the protection of civilians and reminds all parties that aid organizations provide “vital assistance in an independent and impartial manner”.

Burkina Faso has been trying to fight jihadist attacks at an accelerating pace since 2015. To date, at least 1,400 people have died in the attacks.

For the second year in a row, more than 1.2 million people have been driven from their homes by violence, according to UN figures.

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