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Statements Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Burkina Faso: Killing of civilians

15 November 2023


UN Human Rights Office spokesperson Liz Throssel

We are following the alarming reports of mass killings that allegedly occurred last week in the Centre-North region of Burkina Faso.

According to several sources, between 5 and 8 November 2023, a large number of civilians, mainly children, women and elderly people, were reported to have been killed in the village of Zaongo, Namentenga province, Centre-North region, in circumstances still to be clarified. The authorities have confirmed at least 70 deaths; however, some reports suggest that some 100 people may have been killed, and a large number injured. This incident, during which a number of properties were burned down, is also reported to have led the villagers to flee the area.

Our office in Burkina Faso is continuing to look into what happened but is at this stage unable to identify the perpetrators. It is difficult to access the area for security reasons and talk to witnesses and survivors.

We call on the transitional authorities to carry out promptly a thorough, independent, and transparent investigation into these serious reports. The perpetrators responsible must be brought to justice, in fair and transparent trials, and reparations must be provided to victims.

For more information and media requests, please contact:

In Geneva
Liz Throssell + 41 22 917 9296 / [email protected] or
Marta Hurtado + 41 22 917 9466 / [email protected]

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