The country’s authorities reported at least 35 civilians dead and 37 injured after a vehicle in a convoy hit an improvised explosive device, the interim government said in a statement. Burkinabe authorities estimate that around 10,000 nationals have been killed in jihadist attacks since 2015.
According to local authorities, a vehicle that was inside a convoy ran over an improvised explosive device between the northern towns of Djibo and Bourzanga, on the way to the country’s capital, Ouagadougou.
The area where the incident occurred has been strongly affected since 2015 by the increase in attacks on villages, police stations and military checkpoints by jihadist groups.
“Escorts quickly secured the perimeter and took measures to help the victims,” the military government added in the statement.
Despite the presence of UN peacekeepers and foreign troops in the country, insecurity has increased in West Africa’s Sahel region over the past decade, as groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the self-styled Islamic State they gain ground.
Political instability in Burkina Faso
On January 24, the military of the African country carried out a coup and installed Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba as the new president of the nation. In addition, the growing presence of Islamic extremist groups has caused the country to face serious political instability.
Recently, Madiba assured that he has made “very significant progress” in terms of national dialogue with jihadist groups to persuade them to lay down their weapons and to control the insecurity that Burkina Faso is experiencing.
“Regarding the implementation of the dialogue process, the advances are very significant. They are even beyond what was expected,” Damiba said a few days ago in a speech broadcast by local media.
Although jihadism has also spread to its neighboring countries – Mali and Niger – Burkina Faso has been the country most affected by the violence in the Sahel region.
In November 2021, 53 deaths were reported due to an attack on the Police, which generated great social rejection, causing massive marches demanding the resignation of President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.
The worrying situation of the Burkinabe
According to Me Barthélémy Kéré, Burkina Faso’s Minister of Justice, more than 10,000 people, including civilians and members of the security forces, have died in Burkina Faso since 2015 due to attacks by terrorist groups.
“The terrorist attacks that Burkina Faso’s populations and institutions have suffered since 2015 have caused serious human rights violations and the death of more than 10,000 people,” said Barthélémy Kéré.
For their part, 28 non-governmental organizations warned this same September 5 that almost one in ten people in the African country have been displaced by the jihadist attacks suffered by the nation, which has generated, in turn, growing food insecurity.
“Most worryingly, the rate of severe food insecurity has almost doubled compared to last year, with more than 600,000 people at emergency levels of hunger during this lean season,” the NGOs said in a joint statement.
Among the signatory organizations are Save The Children, Oxfam, Doctors of the World, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), among others. The nearly two million people who have been displaced are experiencing the “worst food crisis in a decade,” they said in the document.
According to Benoit Delsarte, director of Save The Children in Burkina Faso, those most affected by displacement are children, “having to flee again and again while trying to survive deprives families of any opportunity to rebuild their lives,” he said.