Burkina Faso

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 »

Burkina Faso’s Alarming Escalation of Jihadist Violence

What do we know about the 2 March attacks in Ouagadougou?

The attacks represent an alarming escalation for Burkina Faso in terms of organisation, lethality of armaments and length of engagement. The attacks were claimed on 3 March by the Group to Support Muslims and Islam, known by its Arabic acronym JNIM, which is part of a wider coalition in the Sahel linked to al-Qaeda.

Operations were carried out by two groups of at least four to five assailants each. While the incidents were confined to the city center, they hit two symbolic targets at the heart of power in the country: the army headquarters and the French Embassy.…  Seguir leyendo »

The long-ruling president of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaoré, was corrupt, exclusionary and increasingly autocratic before his abrupt fall from power late last month. But he did have the law on his side in his showdown with the street demonstrators who ultimately pushed him from office — and that fact reveals flaws in African democracy that affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people across the continent.

Legally, the protesters did not have much to stand on. Not only did the president’s attempt to extend his term in office by changing the Constitution follow legal procedures, but his decision late last month to renounce that effort and promise to resign at the end of his mandate in November 2015 seemed to address the demonstrators’ original concerns.…  Seguir leyendo »

Burkina Faso se encuentra en el corazón del Sahel, lo que significa que es uno de los países más vulnerables del mundo en cuanto al cambio climático. Puede que sus campesinos entiendan poco las causas del calentamiento global, pero conocen sus efectos, como las sequías a inundaciones producidas por la enorme variabilidad de los patrones de lluvias, que causan crisis alimentarias, la pérdida de cosechas y la erosión de las tierras de pastoreo.

Desde hace varios años el concepto de agricultura sostenible se ha ido afianzando en el mundo y en Burkina Faso, apareciendo en el discurso político y convirtiéndose en un enfoque clave para el desarrollo agrícola global.…  Seguir leyendo »