Story by Daniel Stewart
The Burkina Faso Army reported Monday the death of 160 “terrorists” and 51 military personnel in an ambush perpetrated by armed militiamen last Friday between Deou and Oursi, in the province of Oudalan.
“At the end of Monday, February 20, 2023, 43 more bodies have been found, bringing to 51 the number of fallen soldiers,” the Armed Forces of Burkina Faso have reported in a statement picked up by the news portal Burkina24.
“The operations continue with an intensification of aerial actions that have allowed the neutralization of a hundred terrorists and the destruction of materials,” it said. This figure is in addition to the 60 militiamen already killed in the first military reaction.
Burkina Faso, ruled by a military junta since the January 2022 coup d’état against the then president, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, has experienced an increase in insecurity since 2015.
The junta is now headed by Ibrahim Traoré, who staged an uprising in September that was considered a ‘palace coup’ against the hitherto leader, Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba.
The continuous attacks in the country, the work of both Al Qaeda and Islamic State affiliates in the region, have also contributed to an increase in inter-community violence and have led to the flourishing of self-defense groups, to which the Burkinabe government has added ‘volunteers’.
The deteriorating security situation has led to a wave of internally displaced persons and refugees to other countries in the region.