According to the Burkina Faso government, at least 10 people have been killed in an aid convoy ambushed. This attack brings the death toll from a string of attacks blamed on armed groups to at least 50.
According to the statement, the ambush happened on Saturday near the northern town of Barsalogho. It further said that an attack on a livestock market in the village of Kompienga in the eastern part of the country earlier in the day had killed 25 people.
Saturday’s attacks came a day after a convoy of mostly shopkeepers came under fire in the north of Burkina Faso, killing 15 people. The convoy was escorted by a local self-defence unit. That attack, in the Loroum province, was also blamed on armed groups.
The humanitarian convoy was returning from the northern town of Foube after delivering food in Barsalogho, the statement said. At least five civilians and five gendarmes were killed and about 20 people were injured. No group has claimed responsibility.
Saturday’s violence underscores deep instability in parts of Burkina Faso, that has been battling armed groups with links to al-Qaeda and ISIS since 2017. Hundreds have been killed in the past year in the Sahel nation. In the past five years, more than 900 people have been killed by armed groups. Some 860,000 people have also fled their homes.
Defeating Armed Groups Uprising in West Africa
A local governor, Colonel Saidou Sanou, said that the bloodshed underlined the need for the army and locals to work together to “defeat the terrorist hydra”.
Burkina Faso is part of a regional effort to battle armed groups uprising along with Mali, Niger, Mauritania, and Chad. Their militaries, under-equipped and poorly trained, are supported by 5,000 French troops in the region.
According to United Nations figures, the unrest in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger killed approximately 4,000 people last year.