Burkina: an NGO accuses the army of having killed at least 25 civilians
BET À DAY
A human rights NGO in Burkina Faso has accused the army of killing at least 25 civilians this week, including women and a baby, in eastern country, according to a statement received by AFP on Friday.
Neither the army nor the Burkinabè government initially reacted to these accusations. Eastern Burkina is one of the regions most affected by the violence of jihadist groups, fought by the army and its auxiliaries.
On Wednesday evening (February 1), “the Collective against impunity and the stigmatization of communities (CISC) was seized by several relatives of victims” reporting “allegations of summary executions of civilians which would be attributed to the bodies of Burkinabè defense and security forces (FDS) in the localities of Piega, Sakoani, and Kankangou,” said a statement from the CISC that reached AFP on Friday.
These executions allegedly took place during the passage through these three localities located along National Road 4 (RN4) of a convoy of “more than a hundred vehicles” leaving Wednesday for the Boungou gold mine and “escorted by dozens of 4×4 pick-up vehicles who were carrying several FDS in military uniform, according to the CISC.
Twelve dead (including three women and a baby) are mentioned in the village of Sakoani, about 125 km from Fada N'Gourma, capital of the Eastern region, seven (including four women) in the village of Piega in 60 km from Fada N'Gourma, and six in the hamlet of Kankangou on the territory of the village of Sampiéri, according to the CISC.
Residents of Sakoani contacted by AFP testified to the discovery of “eleven bodies” lifeless after the passage of the convoy.
“The toll continues to grow as information reaches us from the field”, according to the CISC.
According to the NGO, consistent testimonies describe the victims as “unarmed civilians”.
Demanding an end to these “crimes against humanity”, the CISC claims to continue to “collect information in order to to be able to bring all those responsible and their sponsors to justice” and called for “the opening of an independent and impartial judicial investigation into these crimes”.
Other cases of extrajudicial executions are regularly reported by people in several regions of Burkina, says the CISC.
On New Year's Eve, civilian army auxiliaries were accused of killing 28 people in the northwest of Burkina.
Burkina Faso has been confronted since 2015 with increasing attacks by jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.
They have thousands dead and at least two million displaced and partly behind two military coups in 2022.