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Burkina Faso

CrisisWatch Burkina Faso

Deteriorated Situation

Amid ongoing jihadist violence in north, security forces, Koglweogo community defence groups and volunteers stepped up attacks against civilians, especially targeting ethnic Fulani, whom they accuse of supporting jihadists, killing over 100; and jihadist attacks against security forces and civilians continued to spread southward. In north, suspected Koglweogo 2 March killed nineteen Fulani civilians in Cisse village, Soum province. Security forces 6 March reportedly killed 32 civilians in Mansila area, Yagha province. Suspected Koglweogo 8 March killed 43 Fulani in Dinguila and Barga villages, Yatenga province. Suspected soldiers 9 March killed ten Fulani civilians in Gountouwa-Oola village, Oudalan province. Jihadist attacks persisted in Sahel, North and Centre-North regions. In Sahel region in north, suspected Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) militants 1 March killed seven Tuareg civilians in Beiga village, Oudalan province; suspected Jihadist Group to Support Islam and Muslims (JNIM) roadside bombing 8 March also killed two civilians between Petalkoulerou and Baraboulé towns, Soum province. In North region, suspected explosive device from JNIM 3 March killed four soldiers between Banh and Koumbri villages, Loroum province; and suspected jihadists 18 March killed four civilian volunteers supporting security forces in Robolo village. In Centre-North region, civilian volunteers fighting alongside security forces 6 March repelled suspected ISWAP attack on Namssiguia village, Bam province, killing three; suspected jihadists 14 March attacked Namisguima military camp, Sanmatenga province, killing soldier, one militant also killed; unidentified assailants 28 March killed sixteen civilians in Moméné village, Bam province. France 5 March authorised extradition of François Compaoré, brother of former President Blaise Compaoré; François was arrested in Paris in 2017 after Burkinabè authorities issued international arrest warrant on charges of involvement in 1998 murder of journalist Norbert Zongo. In response to COVID-19, govt 20 March closed borders and imposed curfew.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

8 Jan 2020
Burkina is a gateway to coastal West Africa and there is a real concern that jihadist groups may see it as a launching pad to gain other footholds in the coastal region. Financial Times

Comfort Ero

Program Director, Africa
6 Mar 2018
In Burkina Faso, the intelligence system did not rest on an institution but on the shoulders of one man, General Gilbert Diendere. We know that some of the 566 soldiers have joined jihadist groups. AFP

Rinaldo Depagne

Senior Adviser Africa & Project Director West Africa
20 Jun 2017
There is a strong sense [in Burkina Faso] that the state has never really done much for the north. [...] Strengthening its military presence isn’t enough – they need to establish trust. Bloomberg

Cynthia Ohayon

Former Analyst, West Africa
3 May 2017
The new rulers [in Burkina Faso] want to use justice when it serves them but they don't want to sink their own ship. Reuters

Cynthia Ohayon

Former Analyst, West Africa
27 Apr 2017
Justice is important for the Burkinabe, and the lack of justice and impunity is one of the reasons people rose against [Burkina Faso's President] Compaore. World Politics Review

Cynthia Ohayon

Former Analyst, West Africa

Latest Updates

Briefing / Africa

L’Afrique de l’Ouest face au risque de contagion jihadiste

Face à la percée jihadiste au Burkina Faso, porte ouverte sur les pays du Golfe de Guinée, ceux-ci craignent des attaques sur leurs territoires. Les Etats de la région devraient améliorer le partage du renseignement, renforcer les contrôles aux frontières et renouer un lien de confiance avec la population.

Also available in English
Commentary / Africa

Tackling Burkina Faso’s Insurgencies and Unrest

Burkina Faso is suffering mounting insurgent attacks and social unrest. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2019 for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU to support the return of some Burkinabé troops from Mali and to fund social programs that could ease discontent.

Also available in Français
Commentary / Africa

Burkina Faso’s Alarming Escalation of Jihadist Violence

Attacks on the Burkina Faso army headquarters and the French Embassy on 2 March 2018 were better organised, involved heavier weapons and were more sustained than anything seen so far in Burkina Faso. In this Q&A, our West Africa Project Director Rinaldo Depagne says the jihadist assault further exposes worrying weakness in the Burkinabé security forces.

Also available in Français
Commentary / Africa

The Sahel: Promoting Political alongside Military Action

Rural insurgencies across the Sahel are destabilising the region and undermining local security and governance. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2018, Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to continue support for the Alliance for the Sahel and promote local dialogue to buttress law and order.

Impact Note / Africa

Burkina Faso : présenter les conclusions d’un rapport aux protagonistes

Un rapport de Crisis Group est le fruit de plusieurs mois de travail de terrain, de rédaction et de débats. En outre, comme le montre ce reportage photo, le moment où l'analyste présente cette nouvelle publication à ses lecteurs est également le point de départ d'un nouveau cycle de recherche.

Also available in English