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The Sahel crisis deepens — education under attack in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso
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Hundreds of schools close as violence surges

Dark clouds dimmed the late afternoon sun before a blustery sandstorm swept through the empty schoolyard in Burkina Faso’s northern Djibo town. Fewer than 20 students were present at the school, but there were no teachers or lessons. A surge in armed raids in the country’s northern borderlands has driven 65,000 pupils and more than 2,000 teachers from schools. Between January and April this year, 44 attacks were recorded in the northern regions.

More than half of those attacks were in the northern Soum Province, the most violence-affected area, where all schools have now been closed. By May this year, 473 out of 644 primary schools in the country’s North and Sahel regions were closed, five times more than in February.

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