COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The Norwegian Refugee Council said Tuesday that a record one million people are displaced by violence in Burkina Faso amid the COVID-19 outbreak, saying it results “in some of the worst crimes including murders, kidnappings and bombings perpetrated against civilians, many of whom are children.”
The Oslo-based humanitarian group that helps people forced to flee, said the levels of displacement occurred as the coronavirus pandemic worsens an already critical humanitarian crisis in the violence-stricken country.
“Burkina Faso is on fire and the deadliest epidemic right now is the widespread violence perpetrated against civilians,” said Manenji Mangundu, of the Norwegian Refugee Council in Burkina Faso.
More than 450,000 people were newly displaced in 2020, with 184 attacks against civilians recorded according to new figures by the Burkinabe Council for Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation. The number of internally displaced people soared from 87,000 in January 2019 to over one million in August 2020 — an increase of more than 1,000 per cent, the Norwegian Refugee Council said in a statement.