To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Burkina Faso about the reported continuation of terrorist violence in the Centre-Nord region and surrounding areas, including (1) holding perpetrators to account, and (2) providing humanitarian aid for victims.
26 May 2020
The UK is deeply concerned by the ongoing reports of terrorist violence in Burkina Faso and the tragic consequences for the population. The number of displaced people due to instability continues to rise. As of March 2020, just under 800 000 people were recorded as displaced in Burkina Faso. The UK condemns the violence and is committed to working with all partners, including the G5 Sahel countries, to support those most in need and tackle the long-term drivers of instability in the region. In March, the Minister for Africa attended the first meeting of the Sahel Alliance General Assembly and G5 Leaders' Summit, where he reaffirmed the UK's commitment to improved security and increased development in the Sahel. We are also deeply concerned by reports of abuses and violations of human rights in Burkina Faso, including by armed groups and the Burkinabe security forces. We welcome the Government of Burkina Faso's commitment to investigate recent abuses and hold those responsible to account, including following the attack on Malian refugees on 2 May and the deaths of 12 detainees in mid-May.
The UK is supporting Burkina Faso by providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to those affected by the crisis. Over £23 million of UK humanitarian aid will go to Burkina Faso between 2019 and 2021, including to help tackle food insecurity and treat acute malnutrition.
We are also funding a number of programmes that help provide access to education in emergencies and support women's sexual and reproductive health. The UK is supporting the security response through non-combat assistance to the French-led counter-terrorism mission Operation BARKHANE, in the form of three CH47 chinook helicopters. The UK is also committed to helping the G5 Sahel Joint Force reach full operational capability - bilateral funding has gone towards the provision of non-lethal military equipment and support for the human rights compliance framework. In response to COVID-19, the UK has committed up to £744 million of UK aid to combat the virus and to reinforce the global effort to find a vaccine. In the Sahel, the UK is seeking to make sure existing programmes adapt to new needs and is working with partners like the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the African Development Bank to ensure that countries in the region, including Burkina Faso, get the support they need to respond to COVID-19 and manage its impact.