Burkina Faso: Massacre of Civilians

Burkina Faso Women Burkina Faso Women Photo by U.Ozel.Images via iStock

Military and auxiliaries under scrutiny for massacre of civilians

According to Human Rights Watch, the Burkinabé army is once again accused of violence against the civilian population.

From the data collected, it emerged that on February 25th, in two villages in the northern province of Yatenga, Soro and Nondin, at least 223 inhabitants were killed, including approximately 56 children.
The military acted in response to alleged collusion of the villages with Islamist armed groups, an accusation that, in the absence of concrete evidence, frames the killings as possible crimes against humanity.
This episode of violence follows a period of increasing instability in the Sahel region, where Burkina Faso has become the epicenter of jihadist insurgencies.

The executive director of Human Rights Watch, Tirana Hassan, stated that the massacres in the villages of Nondin and Soro are just the latest mass killings of civilians by the army in their counter-insurgency operations.
However, Burkina Faso's Minister of Defense, Mahamoudou Sana, has denounced simultaneous and coordinated attacks by Islamist armed groups, but has avoided addressing the accusations of mass executions brought against the army.

In this context, the persistent inability of the authorities of Burkina Faso to prevent and investigate these atrocious violations underscores the crucial importance of international assistance in conducting a credible investigation into possible crimes against humanity.
According to international humanitarian law, all parties in armed conflict must systematically distinguish between civilians and combatants and cannot carry out attacks against the civilian population and extrajudicial executions.
Serious violations of the Geneva Conventions constitute war crimes.



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