Security in Burkina Faso.
We mentioned in the last newsletter that the security situation in Burkina Faso was deteriorating. This is a request for prayer as, over the last few weeks, it has worsened. There are more terrorist attacks taking place in more places. It so sad to see what is happening. Burkina Faso was a safe country to visit only a matter of 4 years ago. Now, we are really having to consider options when thinking about visiting.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice has changed a lot since the autumn. Places which were considered reasonably safe 4/5 months ago have now been classified as “Advise against all travel.” The line from the north has been brought down as far as a town called Ziniaré which is only 40 km or so north of Ouagadougou. The maps below show the “Before” and “Current” areas which as considered to be too dangerous for travel. Even in the yellow area, Eddie, Karen and John were advised to make sure the police knew they were there when they visited in January.
Some of the terrorist activity has been concentrated on schools. This seems excessively cruel. Schools are having to close for the sake of the safety of the children. There are reports of young men in villages being forced to join the terrorists. A number of European/American nationals have been captured.
The press in Burkina Faso is not allowed to say much about what is going on. So our contacts rely on the BBC services to get the news. From reports, we know that there have been clashes between different ethnic factions in the north of the country. These have been brought about by the destabilising effects of the terrorist activity.
We are so thankful to the Lord that we are still able to have wells drilled! The local companies, based mainly in Ouagadougou, are still able to travel around. So we are pleased to be able to report that, since the new year, we have seen 13 more wells drilled.
So please pray about the situation. In particular:
- Please pray for the safety of Christians, especially in areas that are seeing the worst problems in the red areas on the map. They could be considered to be targets by the terrorists;
- Pray for the preaching of the Gospel;
- Please pray, in particular, for our wonderful dedicated volunteers who give their time and energy unstintingly;
- Pray for the government – many of them are Christians – and ask that they will be able to bring things back under control;
- Pray that drilling will not be interrupted as we try to bring clean water;
- Please pray for a number of British citizens that we know in Burkina Faso. Some are there for the Gospel. Some are engaged in drilling activities as well as the Gospel;
- Please pray about decisions that Myra’s Wells trustees will have to make over the next few months, including decisions about the usual visit next January.