On 4 September, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba gave a speech reviewing his actions since he seized power on 24 January 2022. In this Q&A, Crisis Group experts Mathieu Pellerin and Rinaldo Depagne analyse this milestone.
Govt forces increasingly targeted civilians as insecurity remained widespread despite notable reduction in violence in Sahel region. Military committed numerous abuses against civilians, notably ethnic Fulanis. Drone strike in Pognoa Sankoado village (East region) 1 Aug reportedly killed 37 residents; army in following days admitted to accidentally killing civilians in area. Soldiers 4 Aug allegedly arrested and summarily executed 14 civilians in Guilyende village (also East), and 8 Aug executed over 40 Fulani civilians in Tougouri locality (Centre-North region). Govt denied involvement in these killings and 18 Aug condemned calls circulating on social media for ethnic cleansing of Fulani community. In East region, govt-backed vigilantes (VDPs) 10 Aug routed attack by presumed al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) combatants near Otatougou village, killing 11 including one JNIM commander; unidentified gunmen 26 Aug killed at least seven civilians in attack on convoy coming from Boungou gold mine. In Centre-North region, presumed JNIM 4 Aug launched simultaneous attacks in several areas of Bam province, killing four soldiers and nine VDPs; govt forces allegedly killed 34 militants. Also in Bam, explosive device attack 9 Aug killed 15 soldiers near Namssiguia town. Amid lull in violence in Sahel region, jihadists continued to plant explosive devices in attempt to tighten their stranglehold around population centres, notably killing two soldiers in Djamana village 12 Aug. Insecurity increased marginally in North and Boucle du Mouhoun regions further west. Military-civilian convoy 4 Aug hit explosive device between towns of Gomboro (Boucle du Mouhoun) and Zogore (North), leaving three civilians dead. Suspected jihadists 8 Aug killed at least ten, including civilians and VDPs, in Sima village in North region’s Yatenga province. Govt sought to adjust response to insecurity amid public discontent as police 12 Aug dispersed anti-French demonstration in capital Ouagadougou with teargas. After transitional president, Lt-Col. Damiba, 1 Aug held National Defence Supreme Council meeting, Defence Minister Brig. Gen. Aimé Barthélémy Simporé 12 Aug announced military forces would undergo territorial reorganisation to better combat jihadists. Govt 6 Aug dismissed report from daily newspaper Aujourd’hui au Faso that it had agreed to 24-month ceasefire with jihadists.
Considering Ecowas’ recent failures to deter coups, what happened in Mali and Burkina Faso may inspire other officers in the region.
Putting a bounty on militant leaders’ heads, these types of policy moves, make negotiations and outreach [in Burkina Faso] quite a bit harder.
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.
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 h...
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 e...
The new rulers [in Burkina Faso] want to use justice when it serves them but they don't want to sink their own ship.
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood talks with Crisis Group expert Rinaldo Depagne about the coup in Burkina Faso, the latest in a series of military takeovers in Africa.
On 24 January, a military junta overthrew Burkina Faso’s president, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré. In this Q&A, Crisis Group experts Mathieu Pellerin and Rinaldo Depagne explain how this latest coup confirms the failure of democratically elected regimes in West Africa.
Since 2013, when it sent troops to Mali, France has led international efforts to root out Islamist militancy from the Sahel. Yet the jihadist threat has grown. Paris and its partners should reorient their military-centred approach toward helping improve governance in the region.
Le Burkina Faso et le Niger se dirigent tous deux vers des élections générales. Rinaldo Depagne et Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim décryptent leurs enjeux et insistent sur la nécessité pour leurs vainqueurs de se pencher sur l’insécurité croissante dans les régions rurales, provoquée en grande partie par la présence de groupes jihadistes.
The proliferation of armed groups and the expanding footprint of jihadist groups fuelled violence in Burkina Faso in 2019. The government should adopt a more integrated approach to security and tackle the crisis in rural areas by resolving land disputes.
As Burkina Faso’s rural conflict rages, the country is also beset by urban unrest. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2020 for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to lend support to election preparations and encourage the government to devote energy to the crisis in the countryside.
Faced with jihadist breakthrough in Burkina Faso, neighbouring states in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea increasingly fear attacks in their own territories. These countries should improve intelligence sharing, strengthen border controls and regain the trust of local populations.
In Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, a gold boom is offering a new source of funding and potentially even recruits to several armed groups, including jihadists. Sahelian states should reassert their presence in mining areas and take steps to formalise artisanal gold mining.