Survivors of the attack said that 25 people – all men – were killed, and one seriously injured when their convoy carrying 46 people was ambushed by an armed group near the town of Pissila, in the country’s Sanmatenga province in the Centre-Nord region.
The men were separated from the group and executed, one of them was left for dead. The women and children were later released, and the armed group fled the scene.
“We are heartbroken by news of this brutal and callous act,” said Ioli Kimyaci, UNHCR’s Representative in Burkina Faso. “Innocent civilians are seeking safety but instead are paying with their lives with alarming frequency,” she added.
The surviving family members managed to reach Pissila, a town nine kilometers away. UNHCR’s partner ICAHD has been providing them with psychological support.
The attack on the IDPs occurred as they were returning to their homes from Pissila, hoping for an improved security situation there. Hundreds of people have been killed in Burkina Faso this year, in dozens of attacks on civilians.
Burkina Faso is now the world’s fastest-growing displacement and protection crisis with over 1 million people – more than one in every 20 inhabitants – displaced by surging violence inside the country. Many have fled multiple times in Burkina Faso’s north and east.