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Ensure Fair Trials, Support for Victims

Two members of Ansaroul Islam, an armed Islamist group in Burkina Faso, were recently sentenced to 20 years in prison for a 2018 attack on a primary school. Victims of the attack welcomed the verdict, which provided some rare accountability for…
Young student's in a classroom
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Governments Need to Match Commitments with Action

Earlier in July, governments, philanthropies, and the private sector pledged almost $40 billion at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris to fight gender inequality over the next five years. The aim is to accelerate progress on women’s and girls’…
A girl holds the hand of a boy in Agadez, Niger on October 9, 2018.
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More than 500 Civilians Killed by Armed Islamists in the Sahel Since Early 2021

Just after 2 a.m. on June 5, armed Islamist fighters stormed an artisanal gold mining site outside Solhan village in Burkina Faso’s northeastern Yagha province. Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that the attackers opened fire on everyone that moved,…
A man reads the L'Observateur Paalga newspaper in Ouagadougou on June 7, 2021, about the attacks that happened in Solhan. 
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Donor Countries Urge Investigations into Mass Graves

  Pressure is mounting on the Burkina Faso government to investigate mass executions allegedly committed by state security forces. Human Rights Watch in July 2020 reported on common graves containing at least 180 bodies in the northern town of…
Djibo, Burkina Faso
News

First International Day to Protect Education from Attack Addresses Violations Globally

(New York) – The Central Sahel has seen a significant spike in attacks on students, teachers, and schools since 2018, according to a new report released today by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA). The report is launched…
A school in northern Burkina Faso is abandoned after an attack by an armed group.
News

35th Ordinary Session

Human Rights Watch respectfully submits this written presentation to contribute testimony from children to the discussion on the impact of Covid-19 on children at the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of…
Schoolchildren attend class at a school in Norton, west of the capital Harare, Zimbabwe, September 10, 2019.
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Item 3 interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on summary executions - 9 July 2020

Thank you, Madam President. Human Rights Watch welcomes the report of the Special Rapporteur and the recommendation to adopt a strong political declaration on strengthening the protection of civilians from the harm arising from the use of explosive…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
News

Identify Remains of 180 Men Found in Djibo; Prosecute Those Responsible

(Bamako) – Common graves containing at least 180 bodies have been found in a northern town in Burkina Faso in recent months, and available evidence suggests government security force involvement in mass extrajudicial executions, Human Rights…
Djibo, Burkina Faso
Report
blockquote { margin-top: 2rem; margin-bottom: 2rem; padding-left: 1.5rem; border-left-width: 12px; border-color: #f5f5f5; color: #666; } Available in Français   Summary When armed men on motorcycles…
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Devastating Toll on Teachers, Students, and Schools

(New York) – Increasing armed Islamist group attacks on teachers, students, and schools in Burkina Faso since 2017 have had a devastating impact on children’s access to education, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 102-page…
Young students in a classroom
News

A Survivor Tells How Armed Islamists Attacked Students and Colleagues

The students who were still attending class at the Toulfé village middle school on the afternoon of November 12, 2018 were struggling to focus. It was late in the day. But that was not the reason for their lack of concentration. They were worried,…
A group of armed men pose for a photo
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(New York, May 26, 2020) – Increasing armed Islamist group attacks on teachers, students, and schools in Burkina Faso since 2017 have had a devastating impact on children’s access to education, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The…
News

Suspend Commander Overseeing 12 Men Who Died in Custody in Tanwalbougou

Burkina Faso authorities should credibly and independently investigate alleged extrajudicial executions of 12 men detained by gendarmes on May 11, 2020 during a counterterrorism operation near the eastern town of Fada N’Gourma, Human Rights Watch said…
Family and community members in Fada N’Gourma bury 12 men allegedly killed after being detained by gendarmes on May 11, 2020.  © Private 2020.
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3 Attacks Kill 90 Villagers; Self Defense Force Raises Concerns

(Nairobi) – Suspected Islamist armed groups in Burkina Faso killed at least 90 civilians in 3 attacks on villages in late January 2020 that forced thousands to flee, Human Rights Watch said today. The attacks, between January 17 and 25…
202004ccd_burkinafaso_armed_groups
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Impartially Investigate Apparent War Crime in Djibo

(Nairobi) – Burkina Faso’s security forces allegedly executed 31 detainees on April 9, 2020 in the northern town of Djibo, Human Rights Watch said today. The men were apparently killed just hours after being arrested,…
Government soldiers patrol near Gorgadji in Burkina Faso, March 2019.
News

Pandemic Threatens Refugee Camps, Densely Populated Urban Areas

What are your main concerns about the coronavirus moving through Africa? In many countries where we work there is an extremely weak public health and healthcare infrastructure. The fact that the spread in Africa has been slower than elsewhere…
A member of the Senegalese graffiti collective "RBS CREW" paints informational murals advising how to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, on the wall of a high school in the Parcelles Assainies neighborhood of Dakar, Senegal, March 25, 2020.
News
  “Between the Fulani and us, there are no problems.” That is a refrain one commonly hears when in Burkina Faso. After all, the “country of honest men” - the meaning of Burkina Faso in Mooré, the…
Peuhl herders buy and sell livestock in a weekly market in Djibo in Burkina Faso’s Sahel Region in 2010. Violence in the Sahel Region has claimed scores of lives and forced tens of thousands to flee.
News

Targeted Attacks, Executions Kill Over 250 Civilians

(New York) – Armed Islamist groups in Burkina Faso have committed targeted attacks and summary executions that have killed over 250 civilians since April 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. Witnesses said that assailants sought to…
Map of atrocities in Burkina Faso