Research report


Published by: MMC

Region: West Africa


Burkina FasoCôte d’IvoireGhanaMali

The impact of the Sahel conflict on cross-border movements from Burkina Faso and Mali towards Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana

The year 2020 saw a rapid increase in conflict, general insecurity, and displacement in the Sahel, particularly in Burkina Faso. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic and its secondary impacts, coupled with the impact of climate change on the majority agricultural economies further drove high levels of food insecurity in some regions.  Concerns were raised about the potential effects of the Central Sahel Crisis and a hypothesised subsequent increase in North-South mobility due to the relative stability of coastal countries.

This research was conducted between December 2020 and January 2021 with IMPACT Initiatives and the support of UNHCR. It aims to make sense of these forecasted migratory dynamics by conducting a rapid review of the current state of knowledge on the topic, through a thorough secondary data review, 20 key informant interviews and supplemented by 25 interviews with refugees and migrants along the route. The research confirms the need for further data collection and puts forth key elements for consideration to gauge how the situation and composition of mixed migration flows from Burkina Faso and Mali towards Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana may develop.