Burkina Faso Bishop calls for ban on weapons to Jihadist Groups

The Society of African Missions (SMA) is monitoring Burkina Faso and its neighbouring Sahelian neighbours with deepening concern. It is over 9 months since our confrere, Fr. Luigi Maccalli SMA, was abducted by jihadists in Niger and whose wellbeing and whereabouts are still unknown. 

It is also one of the Great Green Wall countries which we are supporting through our partnership with the UNCCD, the African Union and the Pope John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel. 

Burkino Faso is increasingly witnessing attacks on Christian communities, including attacks on Catholic Churches. In response, Bishop Laurent Birfuoré Dabiré of Dori Diocese, has called on the international community to stop the flow of weapons to jihadist groups.

“If the world continues to do nothing, the result will be the elimination of the Christian presence in this area and quite possibly in future from the entire country,” Bishop Dabiré told the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.

“The weapons they are using were not made here in Africa. They have rifles, machine guns and so much ammunition, more than the Burkina Faso army has at its disposal. When they come to the villages, they shoot for hours.”

Bishop Dabiré asks, “Who is supplying them with these resources? If they were not getting this support from outside, they would have to stop.”

“That’s why I’m appealing to the international authorities,” the bishop told the UK based charity ‘Premier’. “Whoever has the power to do so, may they put a stop to all this violence.”

Burkino Faso has recently witnessed a spate of attacks against Christians.

On June 27, the Catholic Diocese of Ouahigouya in north-central Burkina Faso announced the death of four Catholics in a terrorist attack in the village of Bani.

The country saw its third deadly attack against Christians in two weeks on May 13, when four Catholics were killed by suspected religious extremists during a Marian procession in Ouahigouya Diocese.