Burkina Faso

CrisisWatch Burkina Faso

Unchanged Situation

Amid countrywide insecurity, military authorities engaged in diplomatic spat with Paris over stance on Niger coup, and intensified crackdown on dissent.

Insecurity remained elevated, with heavy toll on civilians. Military operations against jihadist groups continued. Notably, airstrike 2 Aug allegedly killed around ten al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) militants in Bourou village, Soum province, Sahel region. Meanwhile in Hauts-Bassins region, presumed JNIM combatants 1 Aug killed around seven army auxiliaries (VDPs) and lost ten of their own militants in attack on Niamana village, Kenedougou province. Civilians remained caught between jihadists on one hand and govt forces and their civilian auxiliaries on the other. Notably, presumed JNIM fighters 6 Aug killed around 22 civilians and wounded another ten near Nohao village, Boulgou province, Centre-East region.

Ouagadougou continued to draw further away from erstwhile allies. French govt 6 Aug announced suspending French development and budgetary aid to Burkina Faso after country expressed support for coup leaders in Niger (see Niger). In response, Ouagadougou next day denounced double taxation treaty with France. After Niger 6 Aug closed its airspace, French flag carrier Air France next day suspended all flights to and from Ouagadougou (and Bamako) citing “geopolitical situation in the Sahel”. Meanwhile, interim President Capt. Traoré 31 Aug reportedly discussed possible military cooperation with Russian delegation in capital Ouagadougou.

Clampdown on dissent intensified. Coalition of around 50 political parties and civil society groups, Patriotic Front, 4 Aug denounced “abuses” and non-inclusive governance by military authorities; statement came days after alleged state agents briefly kidnapped former MP Issouf Nikièma and court sentenced civil society activist Mohamed Sinon to prison for criticising gendarmerie. Authorities 10 Aug suspended prominent media outlet Radio Omega over accusations of promoting “strategy of chaos” in Niger after station broadcast interview with civil society activist opposing coup.

In other important developments. Videos purporting to show gunshots near air base in Ouagadougou 1 Aug circulated on social media, prompting Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Col.-Maj. Célestin Simporé to denounce presence of “suspicious” individuals around base; days earlier, latter had denied rumours circulating on social media of mutinous feelings in certain military barracks.

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In The News

30 Sep 2022
Tensions within the army [in Burkina Faso] have exacerbated over the past months because President Damiba has not been able to restore security in the country. Financial Times
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Mathieu Pellerin

Senior Consulting Analyst, Sahel

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