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Burkina Faso ends 2023 as the year with the most deaths due to the war against jihadism

Burkina Faso stops distributing the French newspaper Le Monde in the country

Artillery Captain Ibrahim Traoré seized power in Burkina Faso in a coup in October 2022 with the sole intention of stopping the jihadist threat in the country. Since then, the focus of their anti-terror policy has been three basic points: the expulsion of French troops in exchange for new international partnersthe promotion of the People’s Defense Forces known as VDP (Volunteers for the Defense of the Homeland) and the abolition of any dialogue policy to reinterpret the war narrative until it is focused on all-out war against jihadism and those who support it.

In a speech with pan-African undertones and constant references to Thomas Sankara, who was looking for new allies in Moscow, he promised the Burkinabe people a victory. He still promises her. Just as it has sought a new policy of self-sufficiency in energy and food in the short and medium term, based on its new relationship with Russia. to finally put his nation on the path of development according to the guidelines set by the Burkinabé themselves, and not the European nations or international organizations that it blames for Burkina Faso’s shortcomings. Many point to Traoré as the reborn Thomas Sankara: a new African leader for Africans, resisting the pressures of a predatory Europe with uncommon courage. The commander of Burkina Faso started this a bill that would downgrade French from its previous status as an official language to that of a “working language”. and has expelled several French media outlets from the country, most recently the newspaper Le Monde.

According to Traoré and his supporters, Westerners alone are responsible for Burkina’s ills. This is supported by evidence such as Paris’ currency control over the CFA franc or the neo-colonialist policies following the African independence processes. Traoré is, on paper, a true African leader. Sankara, Mandela and Lumumba were reincarnated in a single body that will bring prosperity, peace and prosperity to its citizens.

Their policies have so far led to an increase in violence, meaning Burkina will end 2023 as the year with the most conflict-related deaths, according to the ACLED database: More than 7,000, including civilians and combatants, compared to just over 4,000 last year. The number of internally displaced people has risen to over 2 million people and the atmosphere of “total war” has led to an increase in massacres on both sides and new massive attacks by jihadists. The various political opponents who advocated the path of dialogue as an alternative, including Daouda Diallo, Charles Wendpouiré and Issaka Lingani, They were sent to the front as fighters through forced recruitment. The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) Burkina Faso was listed in its latest report as one of the five African countries whose democratic scores have declined the mostalong with Chad, Mauritius, Guinea-Bissau and Tunisia, placing the country in question in 157th place.

Three massacres with inaccurate numbers

There were three major massacres of civilians in 2023, two allegedly by Burkinabe forces and a third by jihadists. The number of victims in both cases is imprecise, but that is acknowledgedThe Burkinabe army murdered around 200 civilians accused of collaborating with jihadists in the town of Karma in April and another 100 in Zaongo in early November.. The European Union called on the Burkinabe government to investigate the events in Zaongo, but received no response. Finally, on December 8, men in military uniforms, believed to be jihadists, also murdered 30 people in the market in the city of Fô in the west of the country.

One of the most representative actions, if one considers the events in Burkina Faso as an open war, took place on the afternoon of November 26th in the city of Djibo, in the north of the country. Then around 3,000 jihadists attacked the city’s military headquarters (under siege since February 2022), leading to a violent clash ended with the deaths of 400 terroristsAccording to the Alliance of Sahel States, around 40 civilians were murdered. However, what could be seen as a victory for Traoré shows the terrorists’ current ability to mass large numbers of troops at a single point, calling into question the effectiveness of their strategy.

It’s a question. This is due to the lack of information about what is happening in the combat zones (journalists who are not connected to the regime are not allowed to enter the red zones) and the lack of independent media that questions the government’s propaganda-laden discourse for stoking this deadly doubt. The numbers don’t lie:Political repression, violence, displacement, attacks, massacres and deaths increased in Burkina Faso in 2023. That they lead to the victory of the state over jihadism, that the deaths and the horror have a real benefit, as Traoré assures in each of his speeches, that is the doubt that remains, although doubt always has an advantage.

On the occasion of the 63rd anniversary of Burkina Faso’s independence, Ibrahim Traoré delivered a speech to the nation in which the following statements stand out and reveal his intentions in the economic and military spheres:

“We gave the terrorists the opportunity to lay down their weapons. Whoever understood it, understood it. For those who have not understood the message, there is only one thing left: death, because we will give them the death they want. If they are so lucky, they will see hell on earth before meeting in the afterlifefor the scavengers will feast on them.”

“If someone wants to import 10 billion (CFA francs) of rice, we will force them to pay 2 billion for a youth employment project.”

The terrorism that has been forced upon us is nothing but a violent manifestation of imperialism (regarding Europe’s alleged complicity with the jihadists).”

“These imperialists not only plunder our states, not only do they dispossess us through the local lackeys they put at the head of our states, states they consider their prefecture, but today they have reached the climax of issuing a criminal order, who kills.” Men, women and children. We believe that this is the height of imperialism and neo-colonialism.” “The brave people of Burkina Faso will accompany them in their decline.”

In the same speech, he accused the “imperialist states” of blocking arms shipments to Burkina Faso.announced this will intensify the war against jihadism and expressed his desire to create a self-sufficient food economy based on agriculture. These are words that are confronted with Burkinabe reality on a daily basis.

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