MSF suspends operations in northwest Burkina Faso after gunmen kill two staff

MSF suspends operations in northwest Burkina Faso after gunmen kill two staff
# 09 February 2023 00:24 (UTC +04:00)

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has suspended its operations in an area of northwest Burkina Faso where armed assailants killed two of its employees on Wednesday, the medical charity said in a statement, APA reports citing Reuters.

Gunmen on Wednesday morning opened fire on an MSF-branded vehicle transporting four staff members between the towns of Dedougou and Tougan, in an administrative region named "Boucle de Mouhoun" in Sourou province.

Two Burkina Faso nationals - the driver and a logistics supervisor aged 39 and 34 respectively - were killed, MSF said in a statement.

The other two passengers managed to escape.

MSF suspended its activities in the Boucle de Mouhoun while it seeks more clarity on the circumstances of the attack, the statement added.

Burkina Faso is one of several West African countries grappling with violent jihadist militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State.

The insurgency blighting the Sahel region south of the Sahara took root after a Tuareg rebellion in Mali in 2012. Despite costly international efforts to contain it, the insurgency has spread to neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso and more recently to coastal states, killing thousands and uprooting over 2 million in the process.

MSF was providing health services to thousands of displaced civilians in the Boucle du Mouhoun. It warned in August that the number of people fleeing attacks and seeking shelter in the area was rising rapidly.