‘Failure to stem violence in Burkina Faso’

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BURKINA FASO

At least 37 people have been killed and 60 wounded in an attack on a mining company convoy in Burkina Faso, authorities say.

Once peaceful, Burkina Faso has been suffering from a rapidly deteriorating security situation: since 2015 at least 500 people have been killed and nearly half a million people are internally displaced. For most attacks, like this latest one, no group has come out to say it was responsible so it has been difficult to identify perpetrators.

However, at least three known militant groups operate in Burkina Faso: the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (linked to al-Qaeda), the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara Group and local-born Ansarul Islam.

These groups are not the only ones accused of violence in Burkina Faso: so-called self-defense groups and the security forces have both been accused of committing human rights violations.

Nearly a third of the country has been engulfed by violence and this week the French announced a joint military operation with the Burkinabe army at the border with Mali and Niger.

For now, military efforts have failed to stem the violence and there is a growing concern with this approach, with people saying that more needs to be done to address the root causes of the conflict.

The government is not only under pressure from its own people but also from neighboring countries such as Ivory Coast and Ghana who are worried that the violence could spill over.

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