Tag Archives | Burkina Faso

Islamist militants are targeting Christians in Burkina Faso: ‘They are planting seeds of a religious conflict’

DAKAR, Senegal —  One evening in late June, gunmen stormed a village in northern Burkina Faso and ordered people who had been chatting outside to lie down. Then the armed strangers checked everyone’s necks, searching for jewelry. They found four men wearing crucifixes — Christians. They executed them. The killings in Beni, reported by Catholic leadership in the region, followed attacks on churches in the West African nation that have left at least two dozen people dead since February, according to local news reports. It was the second time in as many months that militants singled out worshipers wearing Christian imagery. A spreading Islamist insurgency has transformed Burkina Faso from a peaceful country known for farming, a celebrated film festival and religious tolerance into a hotbed of extremism. The trouble began three years ago with a grim domino effect: Militants trickled in from neighboring Mali, which was wrestling with its own insurgency — and many carried weapons from the 2011 collapse of Libya. Attacks by fighters linked to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda have quadrupled since 2017 in Burkina Faso, according to the Africa Center for Strategic Studies in Washington. The violence has pushed at least 70,000 people to flee their homes since January, estimates the United Nations. The death […]

Continue Reading 0

Dossier Sahel: Instability, Violent Extremism and Foreign Actors

Northwestern Sahel represents one of the most unstable areas in sub-Saharan Africa. Seven years after the outbreak of the conflict in Mali, violent extremism has spread across the region, together with community conflicts over the access to natural resources and inter-ethnic violence. Trans-border activities of non-state armed actors – insurgents, jihadist groups and ethnic-based militias – as well as illicit trafficking networks feed the regional insecurity. These dynamics have boosted military and political intervention of Western actors and the development of multilateral initiatives across Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad. What are the main drivers of the instability affecting the Sahelian states? To what extent is the current security situation in the Sahel deteriorating? And what are the challenges ahead for states and international actors? Mauritania: The New Strongman in Nouakchott Cédric Jourde University of Ottawa The Formidable Challenges to Peace in Mali Edoardo Baldaro Università di Napoli “L’Orientale” The Current State of Insecurity in Burkina Faso Daniel Eizenga Africa Center for Strategic Studies Niger: Has Securitisation Stopped Traffickers? Alexandre Bish Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime Chad: France’s Role and Political Instability Tony Chafer University of Portsmouth Libya: Haftar’s ‘Divide and Rule’ Plans on the Edge of the Sahel Rebecca Murray Freelance journalist Providing […]

Continue Reading 0