Burkina Faso is in the grips of a dangerous threat from armed Islamist fighters who are murdering civilians and threatening to destabilize other West African countries. But the government’s abusive counterinsurgency strategy, notably the summary execution of suspects, risks inflaming the conflict by driving more people into the hands of Islamist militant recruiters.
Since 2017, I have documented the alleged extrajudicial execution by the security forces of more than 150 men accused of supporting or harboring terrorists. I cannot confirm whether any of the executed men supported armed Islamists. But all of the victims were last seen in the custody of government security forces and found hours later shot in the head or chest.… Seguir leyendo »
He sat quietly drinking tea on a December morning in a village in central Mali. But Amadou, a local chief from the Segou region whose name I have changed for his protection, was worried.
“I know of 10 young men who’ve joined the jihadists in recent months,” he said. “And many more who sympathize.”
I was in Mali to research human rights abuses, something I’d done since 2012, when the country went through a spectacular meltdown after a near-simultaneous takeover by Tuareg separatists and Islamist groups linked to Al Qaeda in the north, and a military coup in the south.
The Islamists’ abusive regime in northern Mali was cut short in early 2013 by a French-led military intervention.… Seguir leyendo »
Guineans were relieved when there was a bloodless coup last December after the death of the longtime president, Lansana Conté. Not only had the feared battle for succession among army factions been averted, but the coup leader, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, vowed to root out corruption and hold elections within 60 days. Better yet, he promised not to run. «I have never had the ambition of power,» he said at the time.
When Dadis recently reversed his promise not to run in the presidential election, now set for January, people began to take to the streets. On Monday thousands of people, who had lost hope in Guinea’s long-repressive government, protested in the West African capital of Conakry.… Seguir leyendo »