The situation is tense in Burkina Faso where the population deplores the inaction of the government in the face of terrorism. This Saturday, several hundred demonstrators were dispersed in the capital Ouagadougou after which barricades were set up in several areas of the city, creating clashes between the population and the police. At least one child was injured.
A revolt has been brewing for several weeks in Burkina Faso. The demonstrators deplore a certain “incapacity” of the power to fight against the jihadist attacks. For several weeks, the attacks have multiplied in this neighboring country of Côte d’Ivoire. From May to August, the Norwegian Refugee Council pointed out in September, 480 people were killed in Burkina Faso in these attacks. Since April, continued the non-governmental organization (NGO), 55,000 people per month were forced to flee their homes to flee the violence …
On November 14, 57 people – including 53 gendarmes – died in an attack on a gendarmerie detachment in Inata (north) which had previously called for help – one of the deadliest against the security forces in six years. This umpteenth attack was a drop in the water for the population, believing that the state was not putting enough resources into defeating terrorism. “When we see that the children are sacrificing themselves for the nation and that behind there is no substantial support, it really hurts the heart,” lamented earlier this week to RFI Issa Santi, a friend and neighbor of a police gendarme.
“After seven years of inability to face the terrorist attacks that plague us every day, it is time to demand the departure of the regime,” Fabrice Sawadogo, 28, told AFP. Like hundreds of others, he tried to demonstrate this Saturday in Ouagadougou. “We do not have to negotiate with an incompetent government that has to admit it has failed,” he added. Other protests were taking place elsewhere in the country on Saturday, particularly in Bobo Dioulasso and Kaya. The November 27 Coalition, bringing together three civil society organizations, called on “all Burkinabè to come out en masse” on Saturday “in a peaceful atmosphere, to denounce the growing insecurity and demand the departure of the Head of State” , Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.
Those in power do not like protests very much. The one organized on Saturday in Ouagadougou was dispersed by riot police using tear gas to prevent demonstrators from gathering at Place de la Nation. The center of the Burkinabè capital had been crisscrossed by an important security device. All businesses were closed, an AFP reporter also observed.
After this muscular dispersion, young people erected makeshift barricades and burned tires in several districts of the capital. Protesters also vandalized part of the Directorate of Civil Status, after trying to burn down the Ouagadougou town hall building, which the mayor had banned from demonstrations. “We had come out for a peaceful march, but the reaction of the security forces set fire to the powder, forcing us to erect barricades”, declared one of the demonstrators, adding: “We do not want to burn the country which is already at war, but in the face of barbarism, we will defend ourselves. “
During the violence, a child under the age of 10 was injured by tear gas fire and handed over by the demonstrators to a riot unit of the gendarmerie. Two Burkinabè journalists were also injured in tear gas fire, their media, private Omega radio and the Filinfos online site said, without knowing the severity of their injuries. A spokesperson for the “November 27 Coalition”, Hervé Ouattara, spoke of “a lot of wounded”, “two of whom are in a coma”, which could not be confirmed from an independent source. In a statement on national television, the Minister of Security Maxime Koné said that there had been “a certain number of wounded” among the security forces, but he indicated that he did not yet have a death toll in the areas. two camps.
The government has “decided to extend the suspension of mobile Internet for a period of 96 hours from Wednesday,” nationwide, after a previous four-day hiatus for “security reasons.” “We must put an end to the unacceptable dysfunctions which undermine the morale of our fighting troops and hamper their effectiveness in the fight against armed terrorist groups,” President Kaboré declared Thursday evening, words often repeated which no longer convince in the country.
It was in this context that a convoy of French soldiers on their way to Mali was blocked for nearly a week by demonstrators, accusing the French army of supplying the jihadists with arms. When he entered Burkinabè territory last week, he was first slowed down by demonstrators in Bobo Dioulasso (southwest), then in the capital Ouagadougou (center). But it was a week ago in Kaya, about 100 km northeast of Ouagadougou, that the demonstrators mobilized the most against his passage. Four of them had been shot and wounded in unknown circumstances.
The convoy was finally able to leave Thursday evening “under escort of Burkinabè gendarmes,” said French staff spokesman Colonel Pascal Lanni. Once in Niger, however, the convoy was once again attacked by demonstrators in Téra, in western Niger. According to the mayor of the town, the clashes around the convoy would have killed three people.