To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of recent trends in the level of violence and terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso; and what steps the Government is taking to help ensure security in that region.
9 June 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 April this year, over 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 February, I attended the first meeting of the Sahel Alliance General Assembly and G5 Leaders' Summit, where I 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.
The UK is supporting the security response across the Sahel region, including in Burkina Faso, through non-combat assistance to the French-led counter-terrorism mission Operation BARKHANE, in the form of three CH47 chinook helicopters. The UK is 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. The UK is also 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.