UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk today expressed alarm at the abduction of at least 50 women in Burkina Faso on 12 and 13 January and called for their immediate and unconditional release.
"I am alarmed that dozens of women out to search for food for their families were abducted in broad daylight, in what could be the first such attack deliberately targeting women in Burkina Faso," said Volker Türk.
"I call for the immediate and unconditional release of all the abducted women and for the national authorities to promptly conduct an effective, impartial and independent investigation to identify those responsible and hold them to account."
The abductions took place approximately 15 kilometers from the village of Arbinda, in the Sahel region, and are alleged to have been carried out by members of armed groups.
Arbinda is one of many towns and villages in northern Burkina Faso that have been besieged by armed groups since early 2019, making it extremely difficult for residents to have access to food, water and other basic goods and services.