- No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
- The violence shows that several parts of Burkina Faso continue to be highly unstable, despite the efforts of the government.
- Over the past five years, over 900 people have been killed by local terrorists, while around 860,000 have been forced to flee their homes.
The government of Burkina Faso estimates that at least 50 people lost their lives in a mere span of two days following three attacks that recently rocked the country. The first attack was reported following an ambush by the attackers on a market in the eastern village of Kompienga, killing 25 civilians on the spot.
The second offensive broke out against an aid convoy near the northern village of Foube, resulting in the death of ten people— five civilians and five military personnel. Armed groups “targeted a humanitarian convoy returning from Foube after delivering supplies,” reads the government statement.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet. Just a day earlier, on Saturday, another convoy, mainly of merchants, had been set on fire in the north of the country. It was being escorted by a local self-defense group. The ambush, which left at least 15 people dead, was attributed to a group of jihadists, whose identity still remains unknown.
The violence shows that several parts of Burkina Faso continue to be highly unstable, despite the efforts of the government, which since 2017 has been fighting against armed groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.
Over the past five years, over 900 people have been killed by local terrorists, while around 860,000 have been forced to flee their homes. A local governor, Colonel Saidou Sanou, said that the bloodshed highlights the need for the army and civil society to work together to defeat the terrorists.
Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in the world, had long been spared by armed groups active in the Sahel. It became the target of jihadist movements following the fall of former President Blaise Compaore in October 2014.
The militants, some with links to the al-Qaeda terror group, and others linked to the Islamic State, began to infiltrate the country from the northern regions, on the border with Mali and Niger. From there, they then moved to other directions, especially to the east.
To combat terrorists, the G5 Sahel was set up in February 2017, a multilateral task force that has about 5,000 officers, including soldiers, policemen and special agents from Mauritania, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mali. Its goal is to counter the growth of extremism and human trafficking in the Sahel area which, being uncontrolled, it is teeming with militants from al-Qaeda, ISIS and other organizations.
A French contingent of about 5,000 men also operates in the region, deployed to support local armies, who are poorly trained and poorly equipped. Burkina Faso is, together with Mali and Niger, one of the countries most affected by the fury of jihadists in the Sahel region.
According to United Nations data, about 4000 people were killed in attacks perpetrated last year in the three countries.