At least 29 people are dead after a transport truck and food vans were attacked in two separate incidents in Burkina Faso.
In the first incident, a transport truck carrying people and important goods “rode over an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Barsalogho area” killing at least 15 people, according to a statement from government spokesman Remis Fulgance Dandjinou. Meanwhile, in an incident just 30 miles away, at least 14 people have been killed in food vans traveling in a convoy to deliver important goods for people who have been displaced by the conflicts in the country. Dandjinou has said that following the attacks “military replacements have been deployed and a thorough search is underway.”
Despite the quick efforts by the Burkina Faso government to try and restore order and stability to citizens, these attacks have only been the most recent in a bloody few years for the West African country. From inter-community violence and jihadist terrorists causing more than 60 deaths in April, to at least two dozen Burkina Faso soldiers being killed in an attack on a military base in August, the situation in one of the world’s poorest nations is reaching crisis point.
A large number of these attacks are thought to have been conducted by the Ansarul Islam group who have been active mostly in the northern provinces, where a state of emergency has been in place since the end of 2018. Many in the north have left their homes amongst the destruction, with a surge of migrants heading south to neighboring Ghana to avoid being killed. However, with more attacks spreading to the center and east of the country, the number of possible terrorist organizations operating is unknown.
The increased frequency of insurgent violence in communities, as well as regular attacks on vehicles carrying vital food and supplies to displaced people, has placed a considerable amount of pressure on President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré’s government to combat the violence. Burkina Faso’s main opposition party, the Union for Progress and Change, has already called for the Kaboré to step down over the failure to prevent ongoing violence. However, with no election scheduled until the end of 2020, major steps need to be taken by Kaboré in order to provide a safe and peaceful country for its nearly 20 million citizens.