Burkina Faso

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Deteriorated Situation

Violence reached levels unseen since jihadist insurgency started in 2015, with hundreds killed in one day as militants launched nine simultaneous attacks and govt forces and allies reportedly conducted large-scale massacres.

Violence reached levels unseen since 2015, leaving hundreds dead. Jihadist militants from al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) and Islamic State Sahel Province 25 Feb launched nine attacks across country, notably targeting places of worship. Raid on mosque in Natiaboani town, Gourma province (East region), left up to 100 dead, including civilians, soldiers and civilian auxiliaries (VDPs), and attack on catholic church in Essakane village, Oudalan province (Sahel region) killed at least fifteen people. Jihadist militants same day also targeted military, notably killing 51 soldiers in Tankoualou area, Komandjari province (East region). Suspected army and VDPs also 25 Feb allegedly attacked three villages in Yatenga province (North region), with provisional toll of around 170 people killed. Reports of attacks on two villages in Gayéri area of Komandjari province (East) late Feb also emerged, with unconfirmed death toll of 150.

Silencing of dissent continued. National council of lawyers 15 Feb led countrywide strike to demand release of lawyer and civil society activist Guy-Hervé Kam, who was arrested in Jan on undisclosed charges. Rights defender Daouda Diallo, former FM Ablassé Ouédraogo and civil society leader Issiaka Ouédraogo 18 Feb appeared in videos circulated on Internet in combat gear, confirming they have been forcibly enrolled as VDPs since their arrest in late 2023.

ECOWAS urged govt to reconsider decision to leave group. After Burkina Faso alongside Mali and Niger late Jan announced withdrawal from Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), regional bloc 8 Feb called on trio to “prioritise dialogue and reconciliation”, and ECOWAS chairman, Nigerian President Tinubu, 24 Feb urged departing countries to “reconsider the decision”. Tinubu’s comments were made at extraordinary summit of ECOWAS heads of state, during which bloc lifted most sanctions imposed on Niger in 2023 (see Niger). Conciliatory approach has yet to bear fruit, however. Notably, Ouagadougou, Bamako and Niamey 15 Feb discussed framework to create three-state federation at Alliance of Sahel States ministerial summit, said decision to leave ECOWAS was irreversible.

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In The News

30 szep 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

Mathieu Pellerin

Senior Consulting Analyst, Sahel

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