Burkina Faso Terror Attack Leaves 37 Dead

  • The ambush attack occurred on the road between Ouragou and Boungou, in the Tapoa province of the eastern region of Burkina Faso.
  • In August 2018, the same company suffered two other terrorist attacks, in which 11 people died.
  • Since 2015, the year that marked the beginning of the terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso, there have been about 700 people killed.

At least 37 people were killed and 60 wounded Wednesday in Burkina Faso’s worst terrorist attack in five years. The victims of the attack were mostly workers of Canadian mining company, Semafo, which occurred in the east of the country. They were traveling in a five-bus convoy.

SEMAFO Inc. is a Canadian-based mining company with gold production and exploration activities in West Africa. The name SEMAFO is an acronym for “Mining Exploration Society in West Africa.”

The military vehicle that was ahead of the caravan struck an explosive device and, immediately afterward, a huge number of terrorists emerged and began firing at the buses. The ambush attack occurred on the road between Ouragou and Boungou, in the Tapoa province of the eastern region of Burkina Faso, said Colonel Saidou Sanou, governor of that region. The victims are not only employees of the mining company, but also contractors and suppliers. After the attack, the security forces launched a rescue operation, reports the Government. Sanou strongly condemned the attack, which he described as “barbaric and cowardly”.

In August 2018, the same company suffered two other terrorist attacks, in which 11 people died. The Burkinese government has asked mining companies working in the country to adopt special security measures for their personnel, given the presence of terrorist groups in the area. Semafo operates two mines in Burkina Faso, the one mentioned in Boungou, in the East region, and another in Mana, in the west of the country.

Operation Barkhane is an ongoing anti-insurgent operation in Africa’s Sahel region, which commenced 1 August 2014. The operation is “to become the French pillar of counterterrorism in the Sahel region.”

Since 2015, the year that marked the beginning of the terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso, there have been about 700 people killed, and half a million others have been displaced, more so in the northern and eastern parts of the country This is because of both terrorism and also tribal violence.

The most active terrorist groups in Burkina Faso are Ansar ul Islam, affiliated with Al Qaeda, and the Islamic State of the Great Sahara (EIGS). Just four days ago, Oumarou Dicko, deputy mayor of Djibo and member of Parliament, was killed along with the three occupants of his vehicle after he was ambushed by armed men.

To try to tackle the terrorist violence that also affects Niger and Mali with special intensity, Burkina Faso is part of the G5 of the Sahel, a supranational coordinating body that tries to launch a joint military force, along with Mauritania and Chad. The also have the support of the United States and France through Operation Barkhane. However, the lack of resources of the national armies and the lack of funding for this new military force has slowed its operation.

On Monday, the French Minister of Defense, Florence Parly, who is visiting the Sahel, announced the dispatch to the area of ​​​​special forces of different European countries from 2020 to try to prevent the progression of terrorist groups.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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