Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – MMN reported that Terrorist groups occupy between 40 and 50 percent of Burkina Faso. The military has battled these groups, some linked to ISIS, Al-Qaeda, or Boko Haram, since 2015.
The violence has had severe economic repercussions. Tourism is a big part of Burkina Faso’s economy, but fewer people are visiting now. The terrorist groups want to establish caliphates run by their own interpretations of Islamic law.
Alassane is the Administrator of Christian World Outreach (CWO) in Burkina Faso. He says, “We have about two million people displaced to different places. All of them are trying to save their lives. Many are running down to the Capitol. And we have about 4,600 schools that have been closed. Most of the victims are children and women.”
At least 700,000 children can’t go to school right now. That puts them at more risk, Alassane says. “So with the school being closed, girls are being taken by force to be married to other groups of people.”
“They also want to take the boys and force them to be fighters in the different groups.”
CWO operates a training center where young women can learn skills to support themselves. This includes sewing, cosmetology, and culinary arts. Extremist groups in the area have told it to close since they do not want women receiving any education.
They also operate a mobile medical clinic that brings healing and the news of Jesus to people.