Africans Rising for Unity, Justice, Peace and Dignity is deeply saddened by the abduction of about 50 women and girls by terrorists in Burkina Faso’s Northern Sahel region on 12 and 13 January, 2023. According to a statement released by the Governor of the Sahel region, the mass kidnapping took place in Liki village, near the town of Arbinda, while the women were harvesting fruit.

Burkina Faso is being increasingly exposed to the threats and attacks of violent armed groups, leading to instability and loss of lives. Over the past few years, Arbinda and neighbouring areas have experienced several attacks that have resulted in the death of dozens of people and the displacement of others who have fled to neighbouring countries or safer regions for refuge. This recent mass kidnapping is a reminder that women and young girls are particularly vulnerable to violence, kidnapping and rape under the country’s deteriorating security situation. 

Africans Rising calls for the immediate and unconditional release of these women and girls, and we urge the authorities in Burkina Faso to ensure the safe and sound return of these women and hold accountable the perpetrators of this terrible crime. As a Pan-African movement that believes in the rights of all Africans to safe and secure living, we call on the government of Burkina Faso to put in the appropriate measures to ensure the security of its citizens and prevention of similar attacks. 

We call on international bodies like ECOWAS and the African Union to take measures to ensure the well-being of Burkina Faso’s citizens, especially women and young girls are protected during this critical moment. And to our members, we ask that you remain vigilant and continue to share messages to #FreeArbindaWomen, we cannot rest until they are returned to the safety of their families and homes.  

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