43 Killed by Gunmen in Burkina Faso

Volunteers are being tasked with protecting themselves and other villagers Volunteers are being tasked with protecting themselves and other villagers Sam Mednick/TNH

11 March 2020

On March 8, anonymous gunmen raided villages near the Mali border

The attacks were perpetrated against the villages of Dinguila and Barga. In addition to the 43 killed, there were six taken to the hospital. These deaths are a fraction of the over 800 in Burkina Faso since 2015. On top of the deaths, 500,000 people have been displaced. Due to the inadequate military, the government is arming volunteers to defend the population after only two weeks of training. 

No one has accepted responsibility for the attacks Sunday, and the government did not specifically blame any groups in its statement Monday. Burkina Faso’s government has been in conflict with armed groups linked to al-Qaeda and ISIS since 2015. The villages attacked on Sunday are home to Fulani herdsman who have been targeted in the past by both the government and local defense groups for supposed affiliation with these groups.

Burkina Faso President Roch Kabore tweeted, “I condemn with the greatest firmness the heinous attack," in response to the raids. The trends of violence have been spreading from neighboring Mali where the government is attempting peace talks with al-Qaeda. Mali has expressed its desire for French troops to remain for support against armed groups. The French government has agreed to increase its presence in the Sahel region which includes Burkina Faso. 


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Author: Noelle Musolino; Editor: Vito Quaglia

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