8 Million Children Forced Out Of School Due To Violence In West Africa A UNICEF report calculates more than 8 million school-aged children in West Africa have been forced out of school because of extreme violence.
Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger are among the nations most affected with nearly 1 million people displaced, and more than half of those coming from Burkina Faso.
While extremist violence has wracked Libya, Mali and Northern Nigeria in recent years, Burkina Faso and Niger were viewed as mostly immune.
That view has changed as militant groups like the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara and Ansaroul Islam have posed a more significant regional threat.
Many point to the ouster of autocratic President Blaise Compaoré in 2014, as pivotal in allowing extremists to infiltrate Burkina Faso.
Compaoré ruled for decades and was accused of many atrocities, as well as negotiating with terrorists to prevent attacks within Burkinabe borders.
U.S. State Department officials have even called out the risk to the entire region and as an extension, American economic interests.