Burkina Faso: still many questions about the attacks in the Eastern region

The attack by armed men against civilians took place on May 25 in Madjoari in Burkina Faso.

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In Burkina Faso, the governor of the Eastern region affirmed, Thursday, May 28, in a press release, that the provisional assessment reported about fifty people killed, Wednesday, May 27, in an attack by armed men, in Madjoari, near the border with Benin.

A figure that the government does not confirm for the moment.

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The government affirmed, Friday May 27, that the operations of the army in the Madjoari sector " 

have not made it possible to find victims for the moment 

", while giving a balance sheet of eleven dead in a similar attack, three days earlier, in the locality of Gorgadji, in the province of Séno.

RFI was able to reach a person who was born and raised in Madjoari, who left the locality last year but who was able to communicate with residents.

According to this, the inhabitants lacked food or felt insecure since the attack on the military detachment a few days ago.

Some women left Madjoari for Nadiagou, others left Madjoari for Namounou and along the way, on both axes, the bush guards intercepted them.

Women could pass but no man could pass here.

Without a network, we could not communicate.

The women were not allowed to communicate to prevent the men from going out.

The men were rounded up to go out.

Those who took the Nadiagou road were intercepted halfway.

The guards told the women to go on and they held off all the men.

Among them were four elderly people.

They let them go but they kept the young ones.

The older ones therefore managed when they arrived in Nadiagou.

This is where they told us how the others had been executed.

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information did not reach the village so that the men who were held there would not be tempted to leave.

As for those who took the road to Namounou, there were 30 of them, only 5 of whom were able to escape.

And they are seriously injured.

Read also: Burkina Faso: dozens of residents of Madjoari killed by unidentified men

Why target civilians?

Mahamadou Sawadogo, a security expert, explains that this area has seen regular attacks for four years, but according to him it has been a long time since the jihadists have targeted civilians.

How to explain this change?

It details several hypotheses.

"The first hypothesis, it may be uncontrolled elements of one or the other group, that is to say the Support Group for Islam and Muslims

[Jnim or GSIM]

which controls the area, or else it may be subversive elements of the Islamic State who came in to also discredit the Jnim which is in the process of establishing itself and having a foothold within the population.

The second hypothesis is that the defense and security forces were also carrying out operations in this area and this may therefore be, in return, reprisals against the populations who may be collaborating with the defense and security forces.

And the third possibility is the fact that the camp that protected the populations, the camp of

Madjoari, was destroyed after being attacked and was therefore no longer operational.

Suddenly, the populations no longer feeling safe, decided to leave the area, and, as a reprisal measure, the attackers therefore decided to attack these populations.

These are assumptions”.

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  • Burkina Faso

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