The town of Djibo’s population swelled to 300,000 from 100,000. The 200,000 are refugees from al-Qaeda and Islamic State attacks elsewhere. And so now the jihadis are starving out the place where these people fled for refuge. This is reminiscent of ninth-century Islamic accounts of how Muhammad exiled two of Medina’s three Jewish tribes, the Banu Nadir and Banu Qaynuqa. They settled in the oasis of Khaybar. Later, Muhammad stormed Khaybar and massacred the refugees there.
“‘Nothing To Eat’: People Starve In Burkina Faso Town Under Jihadist Blockade,” Agence France Presse, November 17, 2022 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):
Jihadists have dynamited bridges and mounted deadly attacks against supply convoys, blockading Burkina Faso’s northern town of Djibo and leaving its people destitute.
“The situation is catastrophic in Djibo,” said Idrissa Badini, a spokesman for a group of civil society organisations in the wider Soum province.
“Hunger is at such a level that it is starting to kill children and the elderly.”
Last month alone, 15 people died of hunger in the town, he said. But there were “probably more victims”, as other cases had likely gone unreported.
According to the United Nations, dozens of places in Burkina Faso face conditions similar to those in Djibo.
Nearly a million people are living in besieged areas in the north and east of the country.
Burkina Faso has been struggling with a jihadist insurgency since 2015.
Over the last few years, Djibo has become a hub for the region’s internally displaced people, forced to flee violence involving groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State organisation.
The town’s population has tripled to an estimated 300,000.
But the blockade is now pushing some of those displaced to flee a second time, southwards to the capital Ouagadougou.
“Deprived of water, food, medicine and phone signal, many are leaving Djibo on foot, at night, in the hope of reaching areas they can still reach,” an aid worker told AFP on condition of anonymity.
On the road between Djibo and the town of Bourzanga, residents described seeing the wreckage of vehicles hit by landmines.
Several supply convoys have recently been attacked on the road.
In September, 35 people died when their truck was blown up by a mine. There were children among the dead.
Another attack on a convoy killed 11 soldiers….
The World Food Programme says around 3.5 million people in Burkina Faso will need emergency food aid in the coming months.