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Julien Ermine

La Difficile question des Déplacés au Burkina Faso

The Difficult Question of Displaced Persons in Burkina Faso

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La situation humanitaire au Burkina Faso a connu une forte degradation pendant les premiers mois de l annee 2020 suite aux multiples attaques djihadistes que subie la region du Sahel.
Au Burkina Faso, les autorites denombrent en moyenne 100000 deplaces de plus chaque mois, depuis janvier 2020, principalement dans les regions du nord du Pays.
Le dernier decompte officiel de l UNHCR(mars 2020) fait etat de plus de 700000 personnes, qui ont du abandonner leur foyer. Les attaques terroristes, les mouvements de deplaces et la logistique humanitaire compliquee, entrainent des besoins de plus en plus important. Les risques de famine font craindre le pire alors que les besoins en eau touche deja plus d 1,5 million de personnes.


Ces centaines de milliers de deplaces ont rejoint les villes ou sont organisees collectes d eaux et distributions de nourritures, fournies par le programme alimentaire mondiale (PAM), comme dans la ville de Kaya (situee a une centaine de km au nord de Ouagadougou), principale ville touchee par les mouvements de deplaces.
Le Sahel est une vaste region, repartie sur 3 pays, le Mali, le Niger, et le Burkina Faso. Les autorites, pourtant aidees par des forces internationales, notamment les forces francaises, eprouvent de grandes difficultes a assurer une certaine forme de securite dans cette zone gigantesque semi desertique et recules de tout.
En parallele des exactions perpetres par les djihadistes, deux autres points de tensions sont reapparus depuis quelques mois et viennent s additionner aux difficultes la resurgence de conflits inter-ethniques et les attaques de bandits et autres coupeurs de routes qui profitent de cette destabilisation pour piller et voler des villages. A tel point qu il parait complique pour les autorites d attribuer certaines attaques, meme si la principale menace restent bien entendue liee a la question du terrorisme.

Ces mouvements ont de nombreuses consequences sur la vie du pays. Pres de 2500 ecoles ont fermes leur porte, ainsi que 120 centre de sante. A moyen terme, les autorites locales s inquietent egalement d une autre problematique  Celle de savoir si ces centaines de milliers de deplaces pourront reintegrer leur foyer avant la saison des pluies afin de semer les champs. En effet, la majorite d entre eux vivent de la terre, et dans un pays ou l on ne peux realiser qu une recolte par an, la question revet un caractere nevralgique.

La crise humanitaire semble ineluctable si l on songe a cette pandemie causee par le coronavirus dans un pays qui manque de tout. Les soucis lies au risque de declenchement d epidemie etaient deja grand a cause de la concentration humaine et la promiscuite induite par ces deplacements massifs. Le manque d hygiene du a l absence d infrastructures d assainissements, ou encore les problematiques d acces aux besoins primaires telles que l eau ou encore les medicaments, la ou les services de sante se faisaient deja rares, ne viennent que s ajouter a la longue liste des problemes actuels du pays.

Les mois a venir seront determinant pour qualifier l ampleur de la crise humanitaire qui s annonce. L ONU tente d alerter sur les graves problemes que subissent les populations du Sahel, mais a l heure ou le monde est bloque par la pandemie de coronavirus, la question reste pour l instant en suspend.

The humanitarian situation in Burkina Faso deteriorated sharply during the first months of 2020 as a result of multiple jihadist attacks in the Sahel region.
In Burkina Faso, the authorities have been counting an average of 100,000 more displaced persons every month since January 2020, mainly in the northern regions of the country.
The latest official UNHCR count (March 2020) shows that more than 700,000 people have been forced to abandon their homes. Terrorist attacks, the movement of displaced people and complicated humanitarian logistics are leading to increasing needs. The risks of famine are making people fear the worst as the need for water already affects more than 1.5 million people.


Hundreds of thousands of displaced people have moved to towns where water collection and food distribution, organized by the World Food Programme (WFP), is taking place, such as in the town of Kaya (about 100 km north of Ouagadougou), the main town affected by the displacement movements.
The Sahel is a vast region, spread over three countries, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. The authorities, although assisted by international forces, particularly French forces, are finding it very difficult to provide some form of security in this gigantic semi-desert area, which is remote from everything.
In parallel with the exactions perpetrated by the jihadists, two other points of tension have reappeared in recent months and add to the difficulties the resurgence of inter-ethnic conflicts and attacks by bandits and other road blockers who take advantage of this destabilization to loot and rob villages. To such an extent that it seems complicated for the authorities to attribute certain attacks, even if the main threat remains of course linked to the question of terrorism.

These movements have many consequences on the life of the country Nearly 2500 schools have closed their doors, as well as 120 health centres. In the medium term, the local authorities are also worried about another issue whether these hundreds of thousands of displaced people will be able to return to their homes before the rainy season in order to sow the fields. Indeed, the majority of them live off the land, and in a country where only one harvest a year can be made, this is a critical issue.

The humanitarian crisis seems unavoidable if we consider this pandemic caused by the coronavirus in a country that lacks everything. Concerns about the risk of an epidemic outbreak were already great because of the human concentration and promiscuity induced by these massive displacements. The lack of hygiene due to the absence of sanitation infrastructures, or the problems of access to primary needs such as water or medicines, where health services were already scarce, only add to the long list of the country s current problems.


The coming months will be decisive in determining the scale of the humanitarian crisis that is looming. The United Nations is trying to warn of the serious problems facing the people of the Sahel, but at a time when the world is blocked by the coronavirus pandemic, the issue remains unresolved for the time being.