Burkina Faso

CrisisWatch Burkina Faso

Unchanged Situation

Jihadist-related attacks and counter-insurgency operations continued to exact high toll on civilians; govt used forced enrolment to silence opponents and signed security agreement with Mali and Niger. 

High-level violence persisted, with at least 100 civilians reported killed in one day. Following late Feb surge of violence that saw hundreds of civilians killed by jihadist fighters and reportedly state security forces, further conflict reported: special police and al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) militants 8 March clashed in Piela commune, Gnagna province (East region), resulting in four insurgent deaths, while same day drone strikes killed around ten Islamic State Sahel Province militants near Touka-Bayel village, Seno province (Sahel region). Next day, JNIM attacked Tessoague village, Koulpelogo province (Centre-East region), killing at least 27 including two civilian auxiliaries (VDPs). JNIM militants 26 March attacked govt forces in Sanaba town (Boucle du Mouhoun region), leading to deaths of at least eleven soldiers and twenty insurgents. Meanwhile, reports emerged that suspected soldiers 16 March allegedly killed at least 100 civilians in several villages in Kompienga province (East region) during apparent attempt to relieve area from JNIM blockades in place since 2022; observers suggested attacks may have been retaliation for locals’ alleged support to militants and Feb series of jihadist killings.

Govt continued repressive measures against civil society. Concerns grew over authorities forcing opponents to join VDPs following late Feb abduction of Rasmane Zinaba and Bassirou Badjo, activists and members of Balai Citoyen civil group, amid suspicions govt obliged them to enrol with civilian auxiliaries; UN 5 March condemned continued “enforced disappearances” and “forced mobilisation.” Govt 7 March released former FM Ouédraogo, who reported military keepers had told him to spread word about consequences of criticising military authorities; next day Daouda Diallo, another civil society actor forced into VDP enrolment in Dec 2023, also released. 

Security agreement announced with Mali and Niger. Alliance of Sahel States 6 March announced creation of joint counterterrorism force to combat regional jihadist insurgency and address shared security needs.

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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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