Burkina Faso

Updated 24/05/2021

Burkina Faso has become one of the main areas affected by the instability that has swept the western Sahara region in the past decade as a result of the increased presence of Islamic militias.

Major militia groups, like the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), which is historically affiliated to the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda groups, and Jama’at Nusrat al Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM), a branch of Al-Qaeda in Mali, have taken advantage of the fragile state institutions and lack of border controls in some remote parts of Burkina Faso to expand their operations. Some eastern Burkinabe regions, especially Sahel region, are reported to be mostly in the control of Islamic groups.

2021 Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition (SHCC) Report

The SHCC identified 17 incidents of violence against or obstruction of health care in Burkina Faso in 2020, compared to 27 such incidents in 2019. Twenty-five health workers were killed and six hospitals were stormed in these incidents.

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Aid in Danger

In 2020, overall insecurity has increased in Burkina Faso. Aid agencies face access issues in most areas of Burkina Faso. Aid workers are frequently kidnapped by armed groups. Aid workers are also killed and injured, often during hijackings of aid convoys. Drivers of these convoys are frequently targeted during these attacks. Hijacking and looting of aid convoys is common. Data.

Health Care

In 2020 there was an overall decrease in documented incidents of violence against or obstruction of health care compared to 2019. The highest number of incidents occurred in the Sahel region where various non-state armed groups are active. Health workers were killed, particularly during road ambushes as health workers traveled to provide health care in remote areas of the country. ISGS, JNIM and Katiba Macina military were the main perpetrators of violence against or obstruction of health care. Data

Our Global Interactive Map on Threats and Violence against Health Care provides access to continuously updated information on violence against health care in conflict and related to COVID-19.


In 2020, there has been an increase in attacks on education in the Sahel, Est, Boucle de Mouhoun, Centre-Nord, Nord, Centre-Ouest, and Ouagadougou regions. 

Schools are set on fire and property looted. Students and teachers shot and killed by armed groups including JNIM or ISGS militants. These attacks have occurred inside schools, on school buses and during road travel. Teacher kidnappings are also common. Data

IDPs and Refugees

In 2020, increased conflict in northern regions bordering Mali has increased the movement of people, and violence by armed groups on refugee camps have forced thousands of refugees to leave these camps in search of safer areas. IDPs and refugees are killed and kidnapped by armed groups including JNIM and ISGS militants.