Burkina Faso: Christianity

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 5th March 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Cox Baroness Cox Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that over 191 Christians have been killed in Burkina Faso since April 2019.

Photo of Baroness Sugg Baroness Sugg The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The UK condemns recent attacks against Christians including, last month, the attack on a church in Burkina Faso that killed 24 people. Nobody should live in fear because of their identity or beliefs. Religion-based and intercommunal violence is part of a broader trend of security deterioration in Burkina Faso that has tragically taken the lives of many civilians. We are committed to working with all partners, including G5 Sahel countries, to protect freedom of religion or belief for all.

The UK is deeply concerned by the scale of terrorist violence in Burkina Faso. We are committed to working with the G5 Sahel countries, including the Burkinabe government, to help address instability in the region. Last week, James Duddridge (Minister for Africa) attended the first meeting of the Sahel Alliance General Assembly and G5 Leaders' Summit, where he reaffirmed the UK's commitment to improved security and increased development in the Sahel. The UK is currently supporting Burkina Faso by providing emergency life-saving assistance to those affected by the conflict crisis. The UK is also providing non-combat assistance to the French-led counter terror mission Operation BARKHANE in the form of three CH47 chinook helicopters; this includes support to operations in Burkina Faso.

As the UK increases its work to tackle poverty and instability in the Sahel, we will continue being a vocal champion for the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms.

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