Burkina Faso Facing Conflict Between Terror Groups, Civilians Caught in the Middle

08/18/2020 Burkina Faso (International Christian Concern) – Two of the major terrorist groups in West Africa have started fighting each other according to news reports. The two groups, Group to Support Islam and Muslims (JNIM) and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), have started fighting each other for territory in both Burkina Faso and Mali. The infighting between these two groups was hoped to weaken the overall threat of Islamic Extremism that has taken foot in Northern Burkina Faso, but it has only exacerbated the issue so far. Nearly 100 people have been killed in fights between the two groups this year.

The fighting started last year when ISGS fighters started incursions into the JNIM controlled areas of Northern Burkina Faso. ISGS has been gaining strength over the past several years and has started taking fighters from JNIM, who has decided to work with the Malian government toward a peace agreement. With this move, JNIM and ISGS leaders met in earlier this year to try and reconcile, but it only led to even more tensions.

If this infighting continues, it may weaken the groups and allow the government to take back some of its territory, however, this could also put many innocent civilians at risk. The fighting between these two groups will be brutal and indiscriminate. They will not care who they are killing and will likely destroy and occupy as much area as possible. This could greatly increase the number of displaced people in the country, which has seen a massive spike since late 2018. More than a million people are currently living in displacement. Most Christians have had to flee their homes, leaving houses and churches abandoned. Please pray for peace to return to Burkina Faso.

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