OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso – Burkina Faso's government has announced it will invest more than $700 million over four years to eradicate poverty in the Sahel and northern region of the West African country to prevent youth from joining jihadi groups.
The government said Thursday that the money would be used to build basic services, improve the resilience of the mostly nomadic population in the rural and arid lands, and to increase security.
Francois Paul Ramde, head of local development organization Brotherhood Union of Christians of Dori, said water for people and cattle would be vital.
Landlocked Burkina Faso's remote northern Sahel region is now home to Islamic preacher Ibrahim Malam Dicko, who has claimed recent deadly attacks against troops and civilians. His association, Ansarul Islam, is now considered a terrorist group by Burkina Faso's government.