Ouagadougou | tourist Destination, there are barely six years, Burkina Faso has sank, ravaged by groups jihadists extend their grip deadly on this sahelian country and pose a serious threat to the presidential election in November.
The numbers are scary: over 1600 dead in attacks by jihadists, according to the Observatory for democracy and Human rights – a count minimum, some speaking of the 5000 dead, 100 % of the territory not recommended for Westerners, nearly one million displaced… there is No doubt that the situation will be discussed during the summit to meet Tuesday in Nouakchott, the French president Emmanuel Macron and his counterparts in the sahel.
Behind the numbers, tragic situations. Aly Sidibé, 42 years old, former breeder moved in Kaya (centre-north), said: “The life is more than hard for us. My wife has been killed in an attack at Arbinda (north) in December, leaving a baby of two years. The child is in Ouagadougou. It is supported by the social action.”
“I lost all my flock. I had more than 50 head of oxen. I don’t even a sheep. I had to leave the idp camp to seek work. But I do know that I take care of my flock,” he explains.
Mahamoudou Kimsey, a researcher from burkina faso specialist of jihadism, sees several reasons for the “disaster”.
According to him, “there has been a wrong diagnosis initially. We began by accusing the former regime” of president Blaise Compaore, toppled in 2014, and suspected of having concluded a sort of non-aggression pact with the groups of jihadists, which has long preserved the country. And then it was put in because “Westerners”. “You clocked terrorism is exogenous and not endogenous,” said Mr. Kimsey.
“The army has never been fitted, and there has never been an appropriate strategy”, he adds. Security sources confirm that the transitional authorities in post-Compaoré, but also the power of the president of Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, were afraid of a coup and, therefore, were not “given the army the means to respond”.
The result: the army is going to defeat to defeat, despite its announcements of victories and spectacular.
The territory over which the State exercises its authority is reduced as a skin of grief. The army, the police, teachers are absent from large swathes of the country.
In this context, the president Kaboré is the target of criticism. “It is a kind of king slacker who multiplies the hearings and listening in his chair without taking a decision,” said a diplomatic source in Abidjan.
“Those who speak do not know the situation. They may have the impression that things do not move, but the actions are carried out. A good number of detachments have been created” in the areas affected by attacks, ” replied the chief of the general staff, general Moses Miningou, questioned by the AFP.
“The battle is hard but in little time we will have results. It is our duty to free the axles, to secure the populations and we are going to tackle it. Especially as we have the means to be more efficient. The fear will change camp”, promised it recently in front of the troops, stating that Burkina faso would have five combat helicopters operational by the end of the year.
“The State has remained inert” supports, conversely, Mr. Kimsey, who this inaction has helped to feed the inter-communal violence between the Mossi and Fulani. For him, “the abuses (not punished) of Mossi in retaliation to the actions of armed groups and terrorists are practically pushed the young Peul to adhere to jihadism” and contribute to a widening gap between the ethnic groups.
Last week, the president Kaboré, candidate to his own succession, has done a bang by heading to Djibo, one of the cities symbols of the advanced jihadist, 200 km north of the capital Ouagadougou.
“I made the commitment that Djibo is and will forever be in burkina faso”, then announced the president in a tweet, saying bluntly that”a number of areas where the army was positioned have been abandoned”…
“This visit is akin to an election campaign. The people who live there are not certain to take part in the elections. Their concerns are elsewhere. Water, gas, food, everything missing…”, said Drissa Traoré, a political analyst.
With a North and East completely destabilized, a South and West, the victims of the attacks are sporadic, and a capital Ouagadougou already affected three times by the attacks, the security situation will obviously deprive whole areas of the country voting, which will therefore be challenged.
But, in the face of opposition without a leader, the president, Kaboré seems poised to remain at the head of a country that continues to sink.