According to the governor of the troubled northern province of Burkina Faso, an improvised explosive device (IED) caused at least 35 civilians to die when it detonated near a convoy of cars bringing supplies. The convoy was traveling through the region. According to Rodolphe Sorgo, the governor of the northeastern Sahel region, which borders Mali and Niger, the explosion, which also wounded 37 other people, took place on Monday as the military-escorted convoy traveled down the road from Bourzanga to Djibo. The road connects the two cities.
Mali and Burkina Faso were taken over by the military in May 2021 and January 2022, respectively. Since then, attacks by groups with ties to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) have increased in the tri-border area, which has been at the center of a growing security crisis in the region for the past 10 years.
An improvised explosive device was detonated by one of the trucks that was transporting passengers. According to a statement released by the regional governor, the preliminary death toll is 35, and 37 civilians have been injured. The statement says that the security teams moved quickly to secure the perimeter and start helping the injured.
Several dozen vehicles, including trucks and buses used for public transportation, were damaged by the explosion, according to a local resident of Djibo who spoke with AFP. According to a local resident who requested anonymity when speaking to a news agency, “The victims are mainly traders who were going to buy supplies in Ouagadougou and students who were returning to the capital for the next school year.”
The explosion comes after a series of assaults on major routes that link to the region’s two most important cities, Dori and Djibo. At the beginning of August, a double IED blast took place in the region, which resulted in the deaths of at least 15 soldiers. At least 86 citizens were slain by armed attackers in the town of Seytenga, which is located in the north of the country, in the month of June.
The military rulers of Burkina Faso have made combating armed groups in the country’s northern and eastern areas a key priority. The army has said that it has done “offensive activities” and has also started talking to some armed groups through religious and local leaders.
However, compared to Niger or Mali, where the security crisis was initially brought on by an ethnic separatist movement in the north in 2012, as well as the rise of various armed groups in the central border region, Burkina Faso has seen more attacks this year, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED). In Burkina Faso, the security crisis began in 2012 with an ethnic separatist movement in the north. This was followed by the rise of many armed groups in the country’s central border area.
Military leaders in Mali and Burkina Faso have agreed to strengthen their military partnership to combat armed groups, according to AFP, in a move that comes after Mali’s withdrawal from the regional G5 Sahel Joint Force, which took effect at the end of June, and the withdrawal of French troops from the country, which was completed in August. The action was taken in response to Mali’s departure from the G5 Sahel Joint Force, which became effective at the end of June. A mediator from the main group of states in the area, the Economic Community of West African States, has said in the past that Burkina Faso’s government only has control over 60% of the country’s land, even though there are 20 million people living there.
According to the Norwegian Refugee Council, severe food insecurity has almost doubled compared with 2021 in Burkina Faso as fields and cattle are abandoned as a result of the fighting that has been going on there.