West and Central Africa: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (7 – 13 July 2020)

BURKINA FASO
INSECURITY CONTINUES TO HINDER ACCESS TO DJIBO
Humanitarian actors continue to face varied constraints in accessing the town of Djibo, Soum Province, Sahel Region, due to insecurity, IEDs, and illegal controls of vehicles transporting goods and merchandise by non-state armed groups. While a limited number of humanitarian organizations continue to operate throughout the town; they have had to adapt their modalities and the type of programmes offered. On 24 June, a truck was hijacked on the road to Djibo by an armed party who released the driver, his assistant and the truck after taking part of his cargo.
180 BODIES FOUND IN COMMON GRAVES
In a report released on 8 July, Human Rights Watch (HRW) documented the killing of several hundred civilians by armed groups along with their widespread attacks on schools. They also documented the unlawful killing of several hundred men, apparently by government security forces, for their alleged support of these groups. According to the HRW report covering the period of November 2019 to June 2020, common graves containing at least 180 bodies have been found in Djibo, Soum province, Sahel region, in recent months. HRW calls the Government of Burkina Faso to identify remains of 180 men found in Djibo and prosecute those responsible of the killings. In response, the government issued a statement on 9 July acknowledging its responsibility to investigate credible allegations.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
UN CONDEMNS DEADLY ATTACK AGAINST PEACEKEEPERS
On 13 July, a United Nations peacekeeper was killed, and two others wounded in a deadly attack by armed men in Gedze, Nana-Mambéré prefecture, located in the northwest. The UN Secretary-General strongly condemned the attack, recalling that attacks against United Nations peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law. António Guterres calls on the Central African Republic authorities to spare no effort in identifying the perpetrators of this attack so that they can be brought to justice rapidly. Between January and June 2020, 192 security incidents affecting humanitarian workers were reported, an increase of about 48% compared to the same period in 2019.
MALI
UN AND PARTNERS CONDEMN VIOLENCE AND CALL FOR DIALOGUE
On 12 July, representatives of the United Nations, European Union, African Union and the West African bloc ECOWAS expressed concern over a deepening sociopolitical crisis in Mali and condemned “any form of violence as a means of crisis resolution”, while appealing for dialogue and restraint. Protesters have been demanding for President Keita to step aside over a number of issues including disputed elections, long-running security issues and economic woes. On 11 July, the President announced he was dissolving the Constitutional Court and would implement recommendations made by ECOWAS, which included re-running some of March’s contested legislative elections. Authorities say that since 10 July four civilians have died in the unrest and six opposition figures have been arrested.
OVER 1,000 FAMILIES FORCED TO FLEE
From 4 to 7 July, four villages were attacked in the area of Tessit, cercle of Ansongo, Gao region. As a result, 1,086 households fled to safer areas. Their most urgent needs include food, water and shelter according to local sources. Humanitarian actors are facing serious access because the bridge that links Ansongo to Tessit has been destroyed by armed men and the option of crossing the river is considered highly unsafe.

Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

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