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Frantic Search for Missing Burkinabe Women

A group of women who were abducted on Thursday and Friday in the north of the country by suspected jihadists are being searched for in Burkina Faso, the governor of the Sahel region said in a statement on Monday. “This is the first mass kidnapping since the beginning of the security crisis and it will be necessary to manage this situation well to avoid any drama or a recurrence,” said a senior officer close to the general staff. France condemned the kidnapping “in the strongest possible terms” and called for their “immediate release”. In a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Paris reaffirmed “its solidarity and its commitment to Burkina Faso”. The commune of Arbinda is located in the Sahel region, an area under blockade by jihadist groups and which is difficult to supply with food. Nearly one million people are currently living in blockaded areas in the north and east of the country, according to the United Nations. Burkina Faso, particularly in its northern half, has faced increasing attacks by jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State since 2015. They have left thousands dead and at least two million displaced.