MSF Ambush in Burkina Faso - Social Media Monitoring (March 2023)


ReliefWeb Analysis 



Following the ambush and killing of two Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) employees in the Boucle du Mouhoun region of Burkina Faso, this brief presents findings on public sentiment expressed online by Burkinabé social media users. Based on social data extracted from the Twitter and Facebook platforms, the study finds that social media users do not show much understanding of humanitarian principles and that many hold misinformed and very negative views about MSF’s work. Many commentators welcomed the decision to suspend MSF activities in the Boucle du Mouhoun region, while others falsely alleged that the organisation is aiding armed groups and acting on behalf of Western governments. Moreover, reactions indicate that MSF’s stated intention to initiate dialogue with all conflict parties was widely rejected as an attempt to put the Islamic armed groups on an equal footing with the Burkinabé armed forces.
This analysis highlights general misconceptions around humanitarian work that are unlikely to be limited only to MSF’s interventions.