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Burkina Faso

CrisisWatch Burkina Faso

Unchanged Situation

Attacks on officials, teachers and other civilians continued in north. Unidentified assailants 2 May burned down primary school in Bafina village and attacked market shops and headquarters of Koglweogo community defence group in Guenbila village, Sanmatenga province, Centre-North region; Koglweogo members 4 May arrested two suspected assailants in same area. In Sahel region, suspected members of jihadist group Ansarul Islam 3 May kidnapped Red Cross worker in Soum province, released him 8 May; unidentified gunmen 14 May killed prefect of Oursi, Oudalan province; unidentified gunmen 20 May abducted Christian teacher and his wife in Basnéré, Soum province. Security forces 22 May raided hideout of suspected jihadists on outskirts of capital Ouagadougou, three suspected militants and one member of security forces killed; public prosecutor said cell was linked to 2 March attacks against army headquarters and French embassy in Ouagadougou and planning new attacks. Unidentified individuals 23 May killed policeman in Ouagadougou. Trial of 84 people accused of masterminding 2015 attempted coup set to resume 12 June after new adjournments 9 and 25 May. Govt 24 May said it was ending official relations with Taiwan, and two days later formally established diplomatic relations with China.

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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

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

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.​

Also available in Français
Briefing / Africa

Burkina Faso: Transition, Act II

Burkina Faso’s democratically elected new government faces great challenges to deliver on justice, socio-economic needs and regional security. To succeed, authorities must resist the temptation to establish a new one-party hegemony. Instead, they should engage in social dialogue and political reconciliation, military reform, and friendly relations with neighbouring Côte d’Ivoire.

Also available in Français
Video / Africa

Burkina Faso Goes to the Polls

Crisis Group's West Africa Analyst Cynthia Ohayon explains the challenges of the upcoming elections in Burkina Faso and measures how to mitigate the country's tensions after the failed coup in September 2015.