Burkina Faso

CrisisWatch Burkina Faso

Unchanged Situation

Amid widespread fighting between jihadists and govt forces, deadly attacks targeted civilians, leaving over 100 killed; Russian soldiers reportedly took charge of presidential protection.

Civilians remained at forefront of hostilities between govt and jihadist groups. In Centre-Nord region, unidentified gunmen around 5 Nov killed at least 70 and up to 100 people, mostly civilians, in Zaongo village (Namentenga province). EU 12 Nov and UN 15 Nov condemned massacre and urged Ouagadougou to open investigation and bring perpetrators to justice, and authorities 13 Nov announced investigation. Meanwhile, fierce fighting continued between jihadists and govt forces and allies. In Sahel region, al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) 26 Nov launched complex, simultaneous attacks on army base, army auxiliary positions and camps for internally displaced persons in and around Djibo town (Soum province); UN Human Rights Office 28 Nov said fighting left at least 40 civilians dead, while military claimed killing up to 400 assailants before repelling them. In East region, govt forces and VDPs 2, 6 Nov killed around 30 presumed JNIM militants in Yamba town (Gourma province) and Tipoli village (Gnagna province).

Forced conscription of civil society activists sparked outrage. Military govt 2 Nov issued order to conscript into army a dozen people, including journalists, civil society activists and opposition party members. Several local civil society organisations denounced move and rights group Human Rights Watch 8 Nov accused junta of using emergency law to punish critics and silence dissent. Administrative court 20 Nov rejected petition filed by three conscripts and confirmed conscription order.

Media reported Russia deployed small military contingent. French-language magazine Jeune Afrique and newspaper Le Monde reported Russian plane with about 20 Russian soldiers on board 10 Nov landed in capital Ouagadougou; soldiers were reportedly deployed to support army’s efforts against jihadist groups, but also to protect transitional President Capt. Traoré, pointing to fragility of his rule as military remains divided.

In another important development. As Malian forces early to mid-Nov launched offensive and eventually captured Kidal town (see Mali), Ouagadougou reportedly provided material support as part of close security cooperation between Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

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In The News

30 Eyl 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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