Burkina Faso: new massacre “A legitimate feeling of anger and revolt”

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Read Time: 4 minutes
Burkina Faso: HRW suspects extrajudicial killings of 180 men | News | DW |  08.07.2020

Jacques Diriclet

Burkina Faso is one of three countries with Mali and Niger where the French force Barkhane intervenes. The massacres follow one another and these countries sink into an increasingly chaotic situation.
Much of the territory of Burkina Faso is beyond state control. And according to the Burkinabé Movement for Human and Peoples’ Rights (MBDHP), the country had 1,147,699 displaced people for 20 million inhabitants at the end of March.

The population is deprived of all protection
On the night of June 4-5, unidentified men attacked the population of Solhan commune with weapons of war, killing a total of 160 people. It is located in the three border zone, where the Barkhane force and the G5 armies operate, near gold sites coveted by armed groups. It is the worst massacre Burkina Faso has ever known. The population, delivered to the killers for 4 hours, received no help.
The Trade Union Action Unit (UAS), which brings together the 6 confederations of the country and also autonomous unions reacted: “The UAS is asking itself serious questions about the occurrence of this tragedy whose mode of action is similar to that of others previously provoked by the forces of evil: why were the FDS (DSF, Defense and Security Forces, i.e. the army, Editor’s note) stationed only ten kilometers from SOLHAN unable to react ? “
The UAS adds: “What lessons has the government drawn from the numerous attacks that our country has suffered since 2015 to build a strategy capable of dealing with terrorism? What were the assurances given by the leaders in recent weeks on the positive development of the security situation in the area? What is the use of the curfew in this part of the territory so overnight that we can come and massacre the populations forced to shut themselves up? What use are foreign forces whose presence on our soil claims to meet the need to support our DSF in logistics and intelligence in the fight against terrorism?

“Locate responsibilities”
The MBDHP stresses that “this situation arouses the outrage and the legitimate condemnation of many Burkinabè, who increasingly express a legitimate feeling of anger and revolt. “
This anger is well directed against the government, but also against France.
The MBDHP adds: “The persistence of terrorist attacks since 2015, according to well-known operating methods, clearly indicates the inability of the government to rigorously ensure the security of the populations and their property (…) Faced with this situation which is deteriorating by day by day, it becomes urgent and necessary to situate the responsibilities. “
The government has, according to the MBDHP “privileged brilliant actions, in particular through summary and extrajudicial executions which now show all their limits. “
This is very similar to the “strategy” described by Macron, which aims to display spectacular “neutralizations” in order to justify French military intervention as states collapse.
Increasingly weakened in the face of rising popular demands, the government is launching an operation known as national reconciliation, a new attempt at a sacred union.
Who to reconcile? All eyes are on Compaoré, the former dictator in the service of France, in power for 27 years, driven out by popular mobilization in 2014. His reign began with the assassination of President Sankara in 1987, who refused to pay external debt. It has been maintained thanks to a fierce repression.
It is therefore the reconciliation of the victims and the torturers that the government wants to achieve, by ensuring impunity to the latter. The government also wants to forge a consensus on the creation of special forces. It is undoubtedly no coincidence that this corresponds to Macron’s demands to build the “new alliance” intended to replace Operation Barkhane in the deadlock … For the moment, the opposition parties, cautious, “ask a re-reading (of the status of these forces) to prevent these soldiers from having “a blank check and going to kill in all directions” without being worried. “(2)
The population has every reason to be worried about such guidelines!

The Trade Union Action Unit adresses the population
In its statement “The UAS recalls that it is the duty of the Head of State and of the government to ensure the security of the Burkinabè (…) The UAS encourages the DSF on the front line of the fight against terrorism. It also encourages populations to organize themselves accordingly around their right to security and calls on workers to develop solidarity with the populations affected by these terrorist acts. “
In any case, it is not the French army that will restore peace and security. Eight years after the start of the intervention, it is obvious that the will of French imperialism to reconquer its positions in its former precinct goes hand in hand with the perenniality of armed groups with a religious facade and mafia practices, which sow the seeds of violence. terror in the population.

(1) General Confederation of Labor of Burkina (CGT-B), National Confederation of Burkinabé Workers (CNTB), Burkinabé Trade Union Confederation (CSB), Force Ouvrière / National Union of Trade Unions (FO- U NS), National Organization of Free Trade Unions (ONSL), Union Syndicale des Travailleurs Burkinabé (USTB)
(2) Jeune Afrique April 3, 2021


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