Seven Children Among 14 Killed In Roadside Bomb In Burkina Faso

 

 

Seven children and four women were among 14 civilians, killed when a roadside bomb blew up their bus in northwestern Burkina Faso, the government said.

“The provisional toll is 14 dead,” a statement said, adding that 19 more people were hurt, three of them seriously in Saturday’s blast.

The explosion happened in Sourou province near the Mali border as students returned to school after the Christmas holidays, a security source said.

“The vehicle hit a homemade bomb on the Toeni-Tougan road,” the source told AFP.

“The government strongly condemns this cowardly and barbaric act,” the statement said.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack but jihadist violence in Burkina Faso has been blamed on combatants linked to both Al-Qaeda and Islamic State groups.

Meanwhile, the army reported an assault against gendarmes at Inata in the north on Friday, saying “a dozen terrorists were neutralised”.

The deaths came the week after 35 people, most of them women, died in an attack on the northern city of Arbinda and seven Burkinabe troops were killed in a raid on their army base nearby.

Burkina Faso, bordering Mali and Niger, has seen frequent jihadist attacks which have left hundreds of people dead since the start of 2015 when Islamist extremist violence began to spread across the Sahel region.

In a televised address on Tuesday President Roch Marc Christian Kabore insisted that “victory” against “terrorism” was assured.

The entire Sahel region is fighting a jihadist insurgency with help from Western countries but has not managed to stem the bloodshed.

Five Sahel states — Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad — have joined forces to combat terrorism in the fragile region that lies between the Sahara and the Atlantic.

Increasingly deadly Islamist attacks in Burkina have killed more than 750 people since 2015, according to an AFP count, and forced 560,000 people from their homes, UN figures show.

Burkina Faso Army Says 32 ‘Terrorists’ Killed In Two Operations

FILES) In this file photo taken on March 02, 2019 Burkinabe soldiers take part in a ceremony in Ouagadougou. Burkina Faso’s security forces are overwhelmed by the flare-up of attacks carried out almost every day by jihadist groups. ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP

 

The Burkina Faso army said on Sunday it had killed 32 “terrorists” in two operations in the north of the country after an attack on a patrol.

One soldier was killed in the operations, which come less than a month after 37 people were killed in an ambush on a convoy transporting employees of a Canadian mining company.

The army said 24 people were killed in the first operation on Friday and a further eight in a second on Saturday.

The first operation in Yorsala in Loroum province saw a number of women who “had been held and used by the terrorists as sex slaves” freed.

Arms, ammunition and other materials were also recovered in the second operation on the outskirts of Bourzanga in Bam province, the army statement added.

The impoverished and politically fragile Sahel country has been struggling to quell a rising jihadist revolt that has claimed hundreds of lives since early 2015.

The attacks — typically hit-and-run raids on villages, road mines and suicide bombings — have claimed nearly 700 lives across the country since early 2015, according to an AFP toll.

Almost 500,000 people have also been forced to flee their homes.

The attacks have been claimed by a range of jihadist groups, including Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

The country’s badly equipped, poorly trained and underfunded security forces have been unable to stem the violence, which has intensified throughout 2019 to become almost daily.

The Sahel region, including Burkina Faso’s neighbours Mali and Niger, has been afflicted by the violence despite the presence of the regional G5 Sahel force as well as French and US troops.

37 Killed In Burkina Faso’s Deadliest Attack In Five Years

FILES) In this file photo taken on March 02, 2019 Burkinabe soldiers take part in a ceremony in Ouagadougou. Burkina Faso’s security forces are overwhelmed by the flare-up of attacks carried out almost every day by jihadist groups. ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP

 

An ambush on a convoy transporting employees of a Canadian mining company in Burkina Faso killed 37 people on Wednesday, the deadliest attack in nearly five years of jihadist violence in the West African country.

The impoverished and politically fragile Sahel country has been struggling to quell a rising jihadist revolt that has claimed hundreds of lives since early 2015.

On Wednesday morning “unidentified armed individuals” ambushed five buses carrying local employees, contractors and suppliers of the Samafo mining company, said Saidou Sanou, the governor of the country’s Est Region.

As well as the 37 civilians killed, 60 were wounded, he said.

Mine owner Semafo Inc. said the five buses escorted by the military were approximately 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the Boungou gold mine in the Tapoa province when they were ambushed.

A security source said “a military vehicle that was escorting the convoy hit an explosive device”.

“Two buses carrying workers were then fired upon,” the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Burkina Faso’s government said the gunmen had conducted a “complex attack”, adding that defence and security forces had launched a relief operation and were searching the area.

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It was the third deadly attack on Canadian firm Semafo, which operates two mines in Burkina Faso, in 15 months.

“We are actively working with all levels of authorities to ensure the ongoing safety and security of our employees, contractors and suppliers,” Semafo said in a statement, offering condolences to the families of the victims.

The mine itself, it added, remains secure and its operations had not been affected.

Two separate attacks on convoys carrying Boungou mine employees in August and December last year killed 11 people.

The company blamed “armed bandits” for last year’s attacks, and subsequently reinforced its armed escorts.

The Burkina Faso government this year asked mining companies to make their own arrangements to transport their employees, according to sources close to the miners.

Nearly 700 dead in five years

Burkina Faso’s northern provinces have been battling a nearly five-year wave of jihadist violence that came from neighbouring Mali.

The attacks — typically hit-and-run raids on villages, road mines and suicide bombings — have claimed nearly 700 lives across the country since early 2015, according to an AFP toll.

Almost 500,000 people have also been forced to flee their homes.

The attacks have been claimed by a range of jihadist groups, including al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

The country’s badly equipped, poorly trained and underfunded security forces have been unable to stem the violence, which has intensified throughout 2019 to become almost daily.

The Sahel region, including Burkina Faso’s neighbours Mali and Niger, has been afflicted by the violence despite the presence of the regional G5 Sahel force as well as French and US troops.

Burkina Faso’s previous deadliest attack was in January 2016, when jihadists raided the Splendid Hotel and a cafe in the capital Ouagadougou, killing 30 people, around half of them foreign nationals.

In August this year, the army suffered its worst attack with 24 soldiers killed in an assault on a base in Koutougou, near the Mali border.

On Monday, an attack on a base in northern Burkina Faso killed at least five gendarmes and five civilians.

Increased Attacks Raises Concern In Burkina Faso

File Photo

Burkinabes are still reeling from a suspected Islamist attack, which killed at least 18 people and wounded several during a raid on a restaurant in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou.

Around 1000 people marched through the city on Saturday (August 19) to protest insecurity and show solidarity with the victims.

Burkina Faso, like other countries in West Africa, has been targeted sporadically by jihadist groups.

Most attacks have been along its remote northern border with Mali, which has seen activity by Islamist militants for more than a decade.

Those who turned out said life will go one and hope their show of unity will be felt in Burkina Faso and beyond.

“Our way of life will continue, life goes on, we will continue living our lives. We need to continue working on making sure that there is national cohesion, and let that be the foundation that will protect us,” said one protester, Etienne Minoungou.

Despite increased security and intense military operations, there is growing concern that Islamist militants can strike anywhere, and at any time.

In Bobo Dioulasso, the second largest city after the capital Ouagadougou, families of those who lost their lives gathered for burials.

Many expressed fears that repeated attacks have created panic across the country.

“I don’t feel safe because you never know, a bullet can come of nowhere and kill me. Why is this still going on? Why have there been no appropriate measures taken to address the security issue in Burkina Faso?” said Abubacar Sidibe.

This is the second jihadist attack in a year in Ouagadougou; a similar attack at the Cappuccino restaurant and the Splendid hotel in the city in January 2016 killed 30 people. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility.

The Cappuccino Restaurant reopened for business in June in a show of resilience in the face of growing extremism in the region.

But experts warn that a more localised, home-grown Islamist movement poses a greater threat to the stability of Burkina Faso, which is still struggling to stabilise itself after a people-power revolution swept out long-time autocrat Blaise Compaore.

Authorities have been concerned for some time that the northern border with neighbour Mali, which has seen activity by Islamist militants, could become a transit point for militants.

Dr Jacob Yarabatioula is a terrorism expert.

“When we analyse this situation, we can say that this is something that is on the rise. It looks like a situation that will worsen over time and that’s very worrying, because we know that the country still needs to do a lot on the economic and social level, and that’s a major concern,” he said.

Landlocked Burkina Faso is an ally of the West against terrorism in the arid West African Sahel region.

It has also been dealing with the fallout from a failed coup attempt in 2015 by elite presidential guard soldiers who were a pillar of former President Campaore’s rule before he was ousted by demonstrators in 2014 over his attempts to change the constitution to prolong his 27 years in office.

Analysts say a lack of resources and decisive measures to boost security have hampered efforts to tackle the Islamist threat.

“The attack in 2017 has reminded us that the security measures that were previously in place were not enough to deter the enemy. I think that all stake holders are now thinking what lessons to learn from this attack. How do they ensure that from now on that Kwame Nkrumah Avenue will be the most secure street in Burkina Faso. The question now is that we all need to come together because there need to be measures to ensure that there is security in place,” said Yarabatioula.

In June, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger launched a joint task force known as Group of Five (G5), to tackle Islamist militants in the Sahel, but it will not be operational until later this year and faces a budget shortfall.

President Buhari Assures Burkina Faso Of Nigeria’s Support

Burkina FasoPresident Muhammadu Buhari has assured President Roch Marc Kabore and the people of Burkina Faso of Nigeria’s solidarity and support.

President Buhari’s statement is coming as Burkina Faso grapple with the aftermath of Friday night’s terrorist attack on Ouagadougou.

In a telephone call to President Kabore on Saturday, the President expressed shock at the attack on the Splendid Hotel in Burkina Faso’s capital in which 26 persons were reportedly killed and a further 56 injured.

“Accept my sympathy over what happened in your country. I am however glad to hear that your forces have rallied, and things are now under control,” President Buhari told his counterpart.

He assured President Kabore that Nigeria would continue to work with Burkina Faso, other members of the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union and other peace-loving nations of the world to overcome the scourge of international terrorism.

At Least 23 Killed In Burkina Faso Hotel

Burkina-FasoAt least 23 people have died after Islamist gunmen stormed a hotel in Burkina Faso’s Capital.

Reports said that the siege was over after at least 150 hostages were freed at Ouagadougou’s luxury splendid hotel.

Gunmen stormed the hotel and a nearby cafe after setting off bombs.

Four of the attackers were killed, two of them reportedly women.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said that it carried out the attack which killed citizens of 18 different nationalities in the West African nation.

French President, Francois Hollande, whose forces were part of the operation against the militants, condemned the attack while describing it as “odious and cowardly”.

Super Eagles Set For Tanzania Cracker

EaglesNigeria’s Super Eagles are set for Friday’s clash against Swaziland in the qualifier for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The team was received by officials of Nigeria High Commission and the Swazi Football Association.

The match is scheduled for the 20,000 capacity Somhlolo National Stadium in Lombamba at 6pm Nigerian time.

Meanwhile Germain Koole of Benin Republic has been picked as the centre referee for the match.

Koole will be assisted by compatriots Bienvenu Dina, Sena Houedin and Gustave Eugene.

Mohamed Bahou from Morocco will be the referee assessor with Zambian, Joseph Nkole as Match Commissioner.

Nigeria To Leave For Burkina Faso On Thursday

super eagles- oliseh-nigeriaNigeria’s home-based Super Eagles will leave for Burkina Faso on Thursday for the return leg of the 2016 African Nations Championship qualifier.

The Nigerian side will be heading to the fixture with a two nil advantage, and the overall winner will qualify for 2016 CHAN in Rwanda.

A squad of 18 players from the 23 in the training camp will be named for the trip to Ouagadougou.

Meanwhile, Coach Sunday Oliseh will not release any home-based Eagles player in camp for the midweek rescheduled week 34 of the Nigeria Professional Football League matches.

Nigeria Defeated Burkina Faso 2-0 in the first leg match which was played in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, in Nigeria’s south south.

Pinnick Expects Super Eagles To Qualify For CHAN

PinnickPresident of Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, has expressed satisfaction with Super Eagles B performance in the first leg qualifier against Burkina Faso for the 2016 African Nations Championship.

Nigeria defeated Burkina Faso 2-0 in Port Harcourt with Bature Yaro and Gbolahan Salami ensuring that the home side got the desired victory having dominated the game.

Pinnick is expecting the Eagles to go all out for victory in the return leg on Saturday, October 24 in Ouagadougou.

The NFF President said: “I am impressed with the Eagles’ display, though they really should have scored more goals. But I have faith in this squad and I believe they will go for victory in Burkina Faso next weekend.”

The African Nations Championship is scheduled to hold from January 16 to February 7, 2016 in Rwanda.

 

Nigeria Beat Burkina Faso 2-0 In 2016 CHAN Qualifiers

super eagles- oliseh-nigeriaNigeria have defeated Burkina Faso 2-0 in the first leg of a 2016 CHAN qualifier played in Port Harcourt.

Bature Yaro put Nigeria in front with a clean strike from an acute ankle after 24 minutes.

The Super Eagles doubled their lead in the 76th minute through a penalty taken by Gbolahan Salami after Ezekiel Bassey was fouled inside the box.

The return leg will be played in Ouagadougou on October 25 with the overall winners advancing to the final tournament in Rwanda in 2016.

Sunday Oliseh To Stay Out Of CHAN Qualifier

olisehSuper Eagles Coach, Sunday Oliseh will stay out of this weekend’s 2016 CHAN qualifier against Burkina Faso in Port Harcourt, owing to ill-health.

The Media Officer of the team, Toyin Ibitoye told Channels Sports that the coach will return to Nigeria from Belgium on October 18, a day after the home-based Eagles clash with the Etalons of Burkina Faso.

In his absence, his Assistants, Jean-Francois Losciuto and Salisu Yusuf will take charge of the qualifier.

Former Enyimba and Kano Pillars Coach, Yusuf, has been training the Nigeria League players for the CHAN qualifier since last week.

The return leg of the CHAN qualifier will be played the following weekend in Ouagadougou.

CAF Picks Nigerian Women Referees For FIFA U-20 Qualifier

cafThe Confederation of African Football (CAF) has picked Nigerian women referees to officiate a 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup qualifying match between Burkina Faso and Ethiopia, which has been rescheduled for the weekend.

The match was earlier set to be played last weekend (September 26/27).

The rescheduling was as a result of a recent putsch in Burkina Faso, but normalcy has since returned to the country.

CAF’s confirmation of this weekend for the match in Ouagadougou also means that the 2016 African Nations Championship final qualifier between Nigeria and Burkina Faso, set for Ouagadougou on October 25, remains unaffected.

Uloma Nwogu will be the referee for this weekend’s clash in Burkina Faso, with Hulda Nwokocha as first assistant and Mimisen Iyorhe as second assistant.

Another Nigerian, Folusho Ajayi will be the reserve referee.