Published: 2021-06-21 11:31
Last Updated: 2023-06-07 11:00
Sunday, Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie visited a refugee camp in Burkina Faso sheltering thousands of Malian refugees. The camp is located in Goudebou, in the northeast of the landlocked west African country, as part of her role as an ambassador for the UN refugee organisation, the UNHCR.
Jolie arrived by helicopter accompanied by Burkina Faso's Foreign Minister Alpha Barry for a ceremony to mark World Refugee Day. She said "I have marked this day every year for 20 years with refugees in different countries."
"I have never been as worried about the state of displacement globally as I am today," she added.
"The truth is we are not doing half of what we could and should to find solutions to enable refugees to return home -- or to support host countries, like Burkina Faso, coping for years with a fraction of the humanitarian aid needed to provide basic support and protection."
An attack in March last year forced some 9,000 refugees, sheltering there despite previous raids, to flee -- and caused its de facto closure.
Since December, the Burkinabe authorities and the UNHCR have been relocating the refugees there, having stepped up security at the camp.
There are now more soldiers posted at a new barracks and increased patrols.
Between December and July, nearly 11,000 people from towns in Burkina Faso's north have returned to Goudebou, said the UNHCR.
The representative for the Goudebou refugees Wanadine ag Mohamed said "The refugees are battered because the security situation is deteriorating day by day despite the efforts by the Burkinabe authorities, their partners and the defence and security forces in the Sahel region."