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Security Situation in Burkina Faso “getting worse every day”: Catholic Priest

Map showing Burkina Faso and her neighbours. Credit: Public Domain

The security situation in the West African country of Burkina Faso is “getting worse by every day,” a Catholic Priest ministering in Burkina Faso’s Fada N’Gourma Diocese has told ACI Africa.

In the Thursday, November 17 interview, Fr. Etienne Tandamba reflected on the insecurity situation in the West Africa nation.

“The security situation is getting worse every day. The armed groups are advancing. There are attacks against the army. The population is submitted to their will,” Fr. Etienne Tandamba said.

He added, “Kidnapping and confiscation of goods occur every day. Some regions are inaccessible by all means. Schools have closed. Outstation chapels have closed. The administration has retired to main cities.”

Despite these security challenges, Fr. Tandamba said, “the Church is resilient. We continue to pray and to find ways and means to announce the good news and care for the Christian communities.”

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“We stand in need of help to reach out to the faithful through the radio. We continue to make great sacrifices to help the poor and needy, especially the internally displaced,” Fr. Tandamba who is also the Director of Communication of Burkina Faso’s Fada N’Gourma Diocese told ACI Africa November 17.

He noted that “communications are done to enforce social cohesion and religious tolerance and dialogue.”

“Our challenges are great! But we believe we shall overcome,” the Burkinabe Catholic Cleric said.

The political crises in Burkina Faso have offered a fertile ground for the proliferation of extremist groups such as the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara and the al-Qaeda affiliate Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin.

In the November 17 interview with ACI Africa, Fr. Tandamba also reflected on the celebration of the Year of St. Joseph in the Burkinabe Diocese.

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“The year of Saint Joseph inspired a lot of initiatives at the diocesan and parish levels. Pilgrimages have been done by groups and associations despite the security problem,” he told ACI Africa.

He added, “The Christians in the Diocese are very dynamic, and that is great. Prayers to Saint Joseph have been translated and printed in the local languages to encourage devotion to the spouse of Mary.”

On a personal note, he said, “The year of Saint Joseph was the opportunity for me to recall the fatherly care of Joseph in my life.”

“I personally distributed prayers of Saint Joseph to families in difficulty. The year of Saint Joseph was a pastoral opportunity for family care,” Fr. Tandamba said during the November 17 interview with ACI Africa.