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Burkina Faso

CrisisWatch Burkina Faso

Deteriorated Situation

Conflict Risk Alert

Death toll rose markedly from suspected jihadist attacks against civilians, officials and security forces mostly in east and north, and President Kaboré’s call for volunteers to help counter jihadist threat could lead to further violence against civilians in Dec. In East region, unidentified gunmen 6 Nov attacked military-escorted convoy of five buses transporting local employees of Canadian gold mining company Semafo 40km from Boungou mine in Gourma province, killing at least 39; modus operandi aligned with that of jihadist groups, Group to Support Islam and Muslims (JNIM) and Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS); Kaboré 7 Nov called for mobilisation of volunteers to defend country from terrorist threat. Military 20 Nov announced suspension of requests for voluntary departure from armed forces, citing dwindling resources. In Sahel region in north, suspected members of JNIM 3 Nov ambushed vehicle carrying deputy mayor of Djibo near Gaskinde village, Soum province, killing him and three others; suspected JNIM militants 4 Nov attacked gendarmerie in Oursi, Oudalan province, killing five gendarmes. Army 17 Nov said it had killed 24 suspected jihadists in Yorsala, Loroum province 15 Nov and eight on outskirts of Bourzanga, Bam province 16 Nov. French armed forces minister Florence Parly in capital Ouagadougou 4 Nov announced launch of operation Bourgou IV under French leadership to counter jihadists in area straddling Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. According to French govt, joint military operation Bourgou IV conducted by troops from G5 Sahel joint force, Mali and Burkina Faso supported by French forces 1-17 Nov killed or captured 24 suspected jihadists on both sides of Mali-Burkina Faso border. Police 12 Nov arrested blogger Naïm Touré for attempting to demoralise security forces; Touré released without charges 14 Nov. Govt 18 Nov suspended for three months private Radio Optima, accusing radio presenter of undermining judicial authority. Govt 13 Nov announced one-month suspension of activities of small opposition party Patriotic Front for Renewal after party 3 Nov called on govt to resign.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

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

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
Report / Africa

Force du G5 Sahel : trouver sa place dans l’embouteillage sécuritaire

Créée en février 2017, la Force conjointe du G5 Sahel est une force de nouvelle génération dans un espace sahélien où se bousculent des initiatives militaires et diplomatiques parfois concurrentes. Il ne suffira pas de fournir des armes et de l’argent pour résoudre les crises sahéliennes. Pour atteindre ses objectifs, la force doit gagner la confiance des populations et des puissances régionales et obtenir leur soutien.

Also available in English
Report / Africa

The Social Roots of Jihadist Violence in Burkina Faso’s North

Jihadist violence in the West African Sahel has now spread to the north of Burkina Faso. The response of Ouagadougou and its partners must go beyond the obvious religious and security dimensions of the crisis, and any solution must take into account deep-rooted social and local factors.

Also available in Français
Commentary / Africa

The Sahel: Mali’s Crumbling Peace Process and the Spreading Jihadist Threat

With jihadists and armed groups exploiting political and security vacuums across the Sahel, Mali and neighbouring states will continue to face insecurity. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2017 annual early-warning report for European policy makers, Crisis Group urges the European Union and its member states to rethink international development strategies and to support local government initiatives that combat radicalisation.

 

Report / Africa

Burkina Faso: Preserving the Religious Balance

In a troubled region, Burkina Faso is a rare example of religious​ diversity and​ tolerance​.​ But a perceived discrepancy between a significant number of Muslims and their low level of public representation has created tensions. To safeguard Burkina’s model of peaceful coexistence, the government must address this sensitive issue through careful reforms, particularly in the education system.​

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