50 Women abducted in Burkina Faso

SOUM: Gunmen abducted some 50 women in Burkina Faso’s northern province of Soum on January 12 and 13, the government has said.
Armed men seized the women as they were picking wild fruit outside the village of Liki, about 15 kilometres (9.32 miles) from the town of Aribinda, and in another district west of the town.
“As soon as their disappearance was announced, efforts were launched to find all of these innocent victims safe and sound,” Sahel regional governor Lieutenant-Colonel Rodolphe Sorgho said in a statement on Monday. “All means available are being used, in the air and on the ground, to find these women,” a security source told media. “Aircraft are flying over the area to detect any suspect movement.”
According to local officials, the army and its civilian auxiliaries have carried out unsuccessful sweeps of the area. UN human rights chief Volker Turk called for the release of about the women in a statement on Monday. “I call for the immediate and unconditional release of all the abducted women and for the national authorities to promptly conduct an effective, impartial and independent investigation to identify those responsible and hold them to account,” Turk said. –Agencies