According to security and local sources, AFP was informed on Friday that two attacks by suspected jihadists in central-eastern Burkina Faso resulted in the deaths of twenty civilians, including women and children. The incidents took place between Monday and Wednesday. A local official informed AFP that on Wednesday, “armed groups carried out an incursion into Bilguimdouré,” a community in the commune of Sangha, in the province of Koulpélogo (center-east), bordering Ghana and Togo. The incursion resulted in “a dozen deaths.”
After that, he went on to say that “another terrorist incursion into the neighboring village of Kaongo had caused the death of at least eleven people, including women and children,” two days earlier. The same source claims that during these two distinct raids, “the attackers set fire to houses and shops and also took away livestock.”
Security sources have confirmed these assaults and have stated that “security operations are underway in the region.” However, these sources did not provide any specifics regarding the outcomes of the invasions. AFP and locals from the commune of Sangha both independently corroborated the two attacks and asserted that “desperate populations are trying to flee their localities, fearing new attacks.”
These inhabitants claim that armed groups ordered the population of another town in the province called Soudougui “to empty several villages under the penalty of reprisals in the following days.” Despite the fact that anti-jihadist operations have been carried out in the province of Koulpélogo by the army and its civilian auxiliary, the province continues to be the target of attacks, despite the fact that a curfew has been in place there for several months.
At least 24 individuals, including 20 civilians serving as auxiliaries for the army and known as Volunteers for the Defense of the Homeland (VDP), were killed in two separate attacks in the Center-East region around the middle of April. The attacks took place close to the borders of Ghana and Togo. Since 2015, Burkina Faso has been engulfed in a spiral of Islamist violence that first manifested itself in Mali and Niger a few years earlier and has gone beyond the borders of those countries. This violence was the scene of two military coups in 2022.
According to nongovernmental organizations, the violence that has occurred in Burkina Faso over the past seven years has resulted in the deaths of more than 10,000 civilians and military personnel, and it has caused more than two million people to be displaced within their own country.
The Australian government made the announcement on Friday that one of its citizens, Kenneth Elliott, an 88-year-old doctor, had been freed seven years after he was kidnapped by jihadists linked to al-Qaeda in Burkina Faso. Jihadists who were active in Burkina Faso kidnapped Elliott in 2003. Thursday evening marked his arrival back in Australia after his trip.