News release

Burkina Faso: Civilians and health care must be protected from any and all acts of violence

Ouagadougou (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is alarmed that acts of armed violence in Burkina Faso continue to target civilians, the sick, health-care workers and medical vehicles and facilities.

On Tuesday, 2 March 2021, an ambulance transporting a patient to Ouagadougou from a health-care centre in Djibo hit an improvised explosive device in Gaskindé, Soum Province, in the Sahel region. According to authorities, everyone inside was killed in the explosion. The week before, in Yagha Province, two women also died following a similar incident.

« This type of incident is particularly distressing », said Laurent Saugy, head of the ICRC's delegation in Burkina Faso.

 The ICRC reminds all parties of the prohibition on methods and means of warfare that are indiscriminate or cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering. Saugy continued: "All parties to the conflict must respect and protect civilians, sick and wounded people and medical personnel, facilities and vehicles. They must take all reasonable measures to ensure that the sick and wounded can access medical care safely and without delay, in line with international humanitarian law."

Violence against civilians, patients, health-care workers and medical facilities and vehicles is a significant problem in humanitarian terms and can have extensive, long-term effects. With this in mind, in 2019 the ICRC organized an initial round table in Ouagadougou on protecting health care during armed conflict and other situations of violence.

The ICRC is an impartial, neutral and independent humanitarian organization that has been present in Burkina Faso since 2006. Its mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to bring them assistance. Since 1 January 2020, the ICRC has increased its presence in and proximity to communities in the areas most affected and is working to bring help where it is most urgently needed.

For more information, contact :

Zalissa SANFO, Public communication officer, Ouagadougou, Tel.: + 226 60 55 84 88,,

Halimatou Amadou, Public relations officer, Dakar, Tel.: +221781864687,