Statement Attributable to
the Spokesperson of the High Representative for
the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)
on the Attack on a Church in Burkina Faso
New York – 17 February 2020
The High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Mr. Miguel Angel Moratinos, condemns the terrorist attack on a Protestant church in the village of Pansi in Yagha province in northern Burkina Faso on Sunday. The attack took place during a weekly service and killed at least 24 people, including the pastor, and wounded 18, according to news reports. The High Representative notes that Burkina Faso has been on the frontline of a jihadist insurgency advancing in the Sahel, with frequent attacks against religious sites and worshippers.
Mr. Moratinos stresses that the global community needs to act against extremism in all its forms – whether it targets churches, mosques, synagogues, or any other religious site. He recalls the UN Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites and calls on all stakeholders to support the implementation of the plan to preserve the sanctity of places of worship and the safety of worshipers. The High Representative expresses his readiness to support the efforts of the Government of Burkina Faso in fostering interfaith dialogue to build bridges of understanding between the diverse faith communities in the country.
On behalf of UNAOC, the High Representative expresses his heartfelt condolences to the victims’ families and his sympathies to the people and the Government of Burkina Faso.
Ms. Nihal Saad, UNAOC Chief of Cabinet and Spokesperson for the High Representative
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