Lockdown in Burkina Faso’s wild east

Aiming to “to eradicate the curse of terrorism,” Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kabore has banned motorcycles at night in the eastern region of the country.

In addition, cars and trucks will be subjected to “strict and rigorous controls,” and mines used by subsistence gold miners, who sometimes employ homemade explosives to remove earth, have also been closed.

Since 2015, Islamist attacks along the the country’s northern borders with Niger and Mali have spread to the east as well, with nighttime raids on remote villages.

There have been over 80 attacks, mostly by Ansarul Islam, a group with ties to Mali and founded in December 2016.

On September 15, nine people were killed in a double attack, and in August, seven members of the state defense and security forces died in the explosion.

On September 26, the government reported that eight soldiers were killed after their vehicle hit an explosive device in the north.

Some security experts note that these Islamist groups thrive in rural, sparsely populated areas, such as the nation’s eastern region, where state security presence is minimal.

Source: Le Monde, Africa News

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