20 People Killed by Gunmen in Burkina Faso

  • No group claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • Attacks by armed gangs are a common occurrence in the country with the eastern region being hardest hit.
  • The country has been struggling to contain attacks by insurgents with links to Islamic State and al-Qaeda since 2017.

At least 20 people have been killed and dozens others wounded in an attack by unidentified gunmen in the eastern part of Burkina Faso. The attack took place in a cattle market according to a government statement. The governor called on the residents to cooperate with the military so as to help in bringing the perpetrators to book.

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa. The July 2019 population estimate by the United Nations was 20,321,378. Burkina Faso is a francophone country, with French as the official language of government and business. Roughly 40% of the population speaks the Mossi language. Its citizens are known as Burkinabé. Its capital is Ouagadougou.

“Unidentified armed individuals burst into a cattle market in Namoungou village in the region of Fada N’Gourma and attacked the population,” the governor, Colonel Saidou Sanou, said in a statement on Friday. It has been revealed that the army is carrying out a search in Fada N’Gourma region.  No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attack came a week after a cattle breeder was killed in the same region. Attacks by armed gangs are a common occurrence in the country with the eastern region being hardest hit. According to the Armed Conflict Location and Data Project, the eastern region has had an increase of about 75% in the attacks this year compared to last year.

On May 30, gunmen attacked another cattle market in Kompienga village in the eastern part of the country, killing 25 people. It is alleged that gunmen arrived on motorbikes and started firing at the crowded market.

The same day, 10 people were killed after n aid convoy was attacked. A day earlier, 15 people were killed by suspected militants after they attacked a convoy of traders in the northern part of the country, near its border with Mali.

In March, at least 43 people were killed in two separate attacks in the northern part of the country. Gunmen are said to have attacked the villages of Barga and Dinguila in Yatenga Province.

Roch Marc Christian Kaboré is a Burkinabé politician and banker and the President of Burkina Faso, in office since 2015. Upon taking office, he became the first non-interim president in 49 years without any past ties to the military.

The attack prompted the President, Roch Marc Christian Kabore, to announce a two-day national mourning period for all those killed in the numerous attacks. The period saw flags flown at half-mast on public buildings and a ban on popular festivities. No group claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The country has been struggling to contain attacks by insurgents with links to Islamic State and al-Qaeda since 2017. With the army overwhelmed by the numerous attacks, the authorities have opted to recruit volunteers who, after just two weeks of training, are given guns to defend vulnerable villages near the border with Mali and Niger.

It is estimated that more than 1,300 civilians were killed in targeted attacks last year in the country, more than seven times the previous year, according to Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. The UN figures indicate that about 4,000 people were killed in jihadist attacks in Burkina Faso and neighboring Mali and Niger last year.

The countries are members of the French-backed G5 Sahel group, a taskforce created by the region’s leaders in 2014, which aims to fight militants. The group also includes Mauritania and Chad. Burkina Faso has been on the frontline of a jihadist insurgency advancing in the Sahel.

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Juliet Norah

I am a freelance journalist is passionate about news. I derive pleasure in informing people about the happenings in the world

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