03 February 2023

Update: Women and children freed from captivity one week after capture in Burkina Faso

Praise God! After reporting their abduction in mid-January, the women and children taken by suspected jihadists have been found and rescued. Thank you for praying – please continue to pray for God’s healing for them after their traumatic ordeal. (Please note that the image is illustrative.)

The women and children were rescued after a week in captivity (image is illustrative)

Defence forces in Burkina Faso have rescued 66 women and children abducted by suspected jihadists earlier in January

According to the Guardian, ‘27 adult women and 39 babies, children and young girls’ were rescued.

State TV reported that they were found on 20 January at a security checkpoint south of where they were taken, just one week after the abductions. According to Africanews, security forces located the women during a military operation in Tougouri, some 200km further south. 

Jihadist control in the area is causing widespread hunger 

The women and children had been kidnapped while they were out searching for food, in two separate incidents on 12 and 13 January in the northern district of Arbinda, Soum province. Details about their captors remain unclear. It’s not yet known if the attacks were religiously motivated – but it is an indication of the vulnerability and risks faced by Christians in the area.

The humanitarian need in Arbinda is growing as jihadists have blocked roads in and out of the area, stopping much-needed food supplies. Local media recently reported that protesters in Arbinda broke into warehouses last month to get food and supplies. Searching for food is putting citizens – particularly women and children – at risk.  

Thank you for praying for these women and children – we have a God who hears our prayers. Please continue to pray for the women and children who were rescued, that they will know God’s comfort and healing after their traumatic ordeal – and pray that roads in and out of Arbinda will be opened up so that food can be transported into the area safely.


Heavenly Father, thank You for hearing our prayers and rescuing these women and children from captivity. Comfort, heal and restore them. We pray for an end to the jihadist control on the roads around Arbinda. Please provide for the needs of the citizens there, and keep them safe from further attacks. We pray that armed groups and jihadists in Burkina Faso will encounter Your radical love and mercy. Amen.

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