Home ARMY BURKINA FASO – Some 40 people including army replacements killed

BURKINA FASO – Some 40 people including army replacements killed


Around 40 people, including army replacements, were killed on the weekend of 29 May 2023 in western Burkina Faso during two attacks by alleged jihadists, who told AFP security and local sources on Tuesday.

On Saturday, a “secure convoy” near Bourasso was attacked, according to a statement from the governorate of the Boucle du Mouhoun region. About twenty people died, “mainly VDP” (army substitutes), according to another local official. On Sunday, about 20 people were killed in the same area in another attack, according to a security source and a resident.

On Sunday, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that the Ouagadougou Institute had suffered “significant damage”, condemning “with the utmost firmness the violence against our diplomatic hold in Burkina Faso”.

Statements on social networks about France’s protection of Lieutenant-Colonel Damiba helped to arouse the anger of pro-Traoré protesters.

They were formally denied by both Paris and Mr. Damiba himself.

A few hours before the announcement of his dismissal on Friday evening, several hundred people had demonstrated in Ouagadougou to demand his departure, but also the end of the French military presence in the Sahel, and military cooperation with Russia.

Moscow’s influence has continued to grow in several francophone African countries in recent years, particularly in Mali and the Central African Republic.

Sunday, in addition to the embassy, demonstrators also gathered near the headquarters of the national television of Burkina Faso around which the armoured device in place since Friday was lightened, with three vehicles, instead of twenty.

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Several hundred, demanding the definitive surrender of Mr. Damiba, chanting anti-French slogans and brandishing Russian flags, accompanied Captain Traoré’s procession on television where he went to record his statement.

Curfew lifted

In the early afternoon, small groups of pro-Traoré demonstrators were still present on several axes and squares of Ouagadougou.

Since the announcement on Friday evening by soldiers led by Captain Traoré of Mr. Damiba’s dismissal—he himself came to power in a coup in January—the tension has not eased.

On Saturday, the latter made it clear that he did not intend to abdicate, calling on the new putschists «to return to reason to avoid a fratricidal war that Burkina Faso does not need in (the) context» jihadi violence that has undermined Burkina Faso since 2015.

Despite the tensions, the putschists reported that the curfew established on Friday from 9 pm to 5 am (local and GMT) had been lifted. The borders remain closed for the time being.

Lieutenant-Colonel Damiba came to power in January with a coup d’état that overthrew President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, accused of inefficiency in the fight against jihadi violence.

But in recent months, attacks on dozens of civilians and soldiers have multiplied in the north and east of Burkina Faso, where cities are now subject to a jihadist blockade.

Since 2015, regular attacks by armed movements affiliated with al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) have claimed thousands of lives and displaced some two million people.


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