The Belen family had to flee their home
three months ago. They are just one of thousands of families who have been affected by the jihadism that’s cast a shadow over
large parts of Burkina Faso. 74 year-old farmer and head of the family Boureima, took charge of leading his 42 relatives to safety. The attackers were targeting everyone.
They were looting our livestock and property, so we were forced to leave. An estimated 300,000 people have been
internally displaced by insecurity linked to armed groups operating in the
north and east of Burkina Faso. This small West African country has been
contending with the unrest for the past seven years, and the attacks are becoming
increasingly frequent and deadly with over 570 deaths recorded since the
beginning of 2015. They were attacking everyone,
those they call unbelievers among the victims were Muslims,
Protestants, Catholics. In short, no one was spared.
We had to run for our lives. After two days on the road, the family found
refuge in the village of Yagma 30 kilometers north of the capital Ouagadougou. They’re put up free of charge by the villagers “Life is much better here
it’s peaceful where we were we couldn’t sleep at night because they could arrive
at any time we had to keep an eye on things even the children.” Though they no
longer feel under threat, without livestock or land to cultivate they
struggle to meet their most basic needs. Instead they wait for the day when a return
to peace might allow them to return home.