Burkina Faso

CrisisWatch Burkina Faso

Unchanged Situation

Jihadist violence remained widespread, while ruling junta sought to control flow of information amid rumours of coup attempt and deal with Russian paramilitaries.

Insecurity remained rampant across country. In Sahel region, alleged Islamic State Sahel Province (IS-Sahel) militants 5 Dec attacked civilian convoy near Peteguerse locality (Seno province), killing four. In North region, govt forces and volunteer fighters (VDPs) 9 Dec conducted operation in Youba village (Yatenga province); between ten and 40 people reported dead, with some sources alleging victims were civilians. In Centre-North region, al-Qaeda affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) 7 Dec killed at least 12 people in Boala village (Namentenga province). In Boucle du Mouhoun region (west), govt forces 2 Dec engaged suspected JNIM militants near Bondokuy village (Mouhoun province), leaving ten dead; 7 Dec killed 23 suspected jihadists in Bondokuy and Ouarkoye departments (Mouhoun), and 30 presumed JNIM fighters in Banwa province. Also in Boucle du Mouhoun, locals alleged VDPs overnight 30-31 Dec killed 28 civilians in Nouna city (Kossi province); govt announced investigation. In East region, passenger bus 25 Dec hit explosive device near Fada N’Gourma (Gourma province), leaving ten dead.

Authorities suspended French media outlet amid reports of coup attempt. Local and international media outlets 2 Dec reported govt forces had foiled coup plot; interim govt immediately denied claim, next day suspended French media outlet RFI for releasing “misleading information” about alleged coup attempt. Authorities 30 Dec reportedly reinforced military presence around presidential headquarters in response to “security alert”.

Ghana alleged Wagner presence in Burkina Faso, sparking diplomatic spat. In meeting with U.S. Sec State Blinken, Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo 14 Dec accused transitional President Capt. Traoré of hiring Russian paramilitary Wagner Group to fight jihadists near border with Ghana. Interim govt 16 Dec called allegations “grave and inaccurate” and summoned Ghanaian ambassador to Burkina Faso. Ghana’s national security minister 21 Dec travelled to capital Ouagadougou, met with Traoré in apparent attempt to mend ties.

In other important developments. Govt 23 Dec ordered expulsion of UN coordinator Barbara Manzi; UN Sec Gen António Guterres next day said Ouagadougou had no authority to expel UN officials.

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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
26 Jan 2022
Considering Ecowas’ recent failures to deter coups, what happened in Mali and Burkina Faso may inspire other officers in the region. Bloomberg

Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim

Consulting Analyst, Sahel
1 Apr 2021
Putting a bounty on militant leaders’ heads, these types of policy moves, make negotiations and outreach [in Burkina Faso] quite a bit harder. Foreign Policy

Hannah Armstrong

Former Senior Consulting Analyst, Sahel
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

President & CEO
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 h... AFP

Rinaldo Depagne

Deputy Program Director, 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 e... Bloomberg

Cynthia Ohayon

Former Analyst, West Africa

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