A new UNICEF report released on Tuesday (28/1) is alarming over the escalation in violence which has resulted in more than 8 million children in West Africa dropping out of school.
According to CNN reports, the situation in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger has forced children out of school.
While nearly one million people are now displaced, with more than half coming from Burkina Faso.
“When you go to school, you see the hope of being someone, but now these children don’t have a normal life,” said Anne Vincent, a representative of UNICEF in Burkina Faso.
The scale of violence in Burkina Faso has surprised observers.
In recent years, extremist violence has devastated Libya, Mali and northern Nigeria.
Burkina Faso and Niger previously remained largely normal. After being seen as a buffer for stability, that quickly changed.
“Security incidents have become worse and worse. Now you can say that one third of the country has a big security problem. This is a big change. Only three years ago there was hope here. This country has been retreating 10-15 years and it’s terrible, “continued Vincent.
Security officials and analysts see violence, especially in Burkina Faso, as a serious regional threat.
The concern is that armed groups such as ISIS can use the country as a bridge to the neighboring coast of West Africa. If Burkina Faso loses, they say, the whole region could be lost.
“It is very important that current insecurities in Burkina Faso are addressed, because they can extend to Benin, Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast. “We have seen armed groups trying to dock in the border region,” William Assanvo, a security analyst based in Abidjan with the Institute for Security Studies, told CNN.