All posts tagged: Burkina Faso

Hundreds in Burkina Faso protest US response to HRW massacre report

Hundreds in Burkina Faso protest US response to HRW massacre report

[ad_1] Hundreds protested outside the US embassy in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou on Friday, against Washington’s reaction to Human Rights Watch accusations of an army massacre of civilians, an AFP journalist saw. Issued on: 03/05/2024 – 21:12 1 min On Monday, Britain and the United States said they were “gravely concerned” a few days after HRW published a report accusing soldiers of killing at least 223 people, including 56 children, in revenge attacks on two villages on February 25. London and Washington jointly urged Ouagadougou to “thoroughly investigate these massacres and hold those responsible to account”.  The military rulers of Burkina Faso dismissed the report as “baseless”. Shopkeepers and private-sector workers marched towards the embassy mid-afternoon, draped in Russian and Burkinabe flags, chanting anti-imperialist slogans. The embassy was protected by riot police. “We have come to deliver a message to the Americans to put an end to these accusations against our armed forces who are defending the country at the cost of their lives,” Mahamadou Ouedraogo, spokesman for the “Burkind Faangf meenga (liberation) federation of …

Austin confirms Russians deployed to airbase housing US military in Niger | Military News

Austin confirms Russians deployed to airbase housing US military in Niger | Military News

[ad_1] Officials says Russians do not have access to US forces at Airbase 101 as Moscow’s troops deployed to a separate hanger. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has confirmed that Russian military personnel have entered an airbase in Niger that hosts US forces, following a recent decision by Niger’s military rulers to expel US troops from the country. News of the Russian deployment to the airbase follows after Niger’s military rulers told Washington in March that it must withdraw the nearly 1,000 US military personnel stationed in the country. Prior to a military coup in July last year, Niger had been a key partner in the US’s fight against the ISIL (ISIS) group and al-Qaeda affiliates in the Sahel region of Africa, which is currently experiencing a surge in deadly violence. Reuters news agency cited a senior US defence official on Thursday, who, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed that Russian troops were present but not mingling with US forces at Airbase 101, located next to Diori Hamani International Airport in Niger’s capital Niamey. …

Burkina Faso suspends more foreign media over HRW report

Burkina Faso suspends more foreign media over HRW report

[ad_1] Burkina Faso on Sunday suspended several more international news organizations, some of them for an indefinite period, over their coverage of a report accusing the army of extrajudicial killings, its communications regulator said. This follows similar action last week, when Burkina Faso temporarily suspended the programs of Voice of America and BBC/Africa following the broadcast of news stories about a Human Rights Watch report accusing the Burkinabe army of abuses against civilian populations. Among those named in the weekend order are French newspapers Le Monde, Ouest-France, British publication The Guardian, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle and French broadcaster TV5 Monde, the Superior Council of Communication (CSC) said. TV5 Monde’s broadcasts would be suspended for two weeks, while access to its website would be blocked, the junta-led West African country’s communications council said. The websites of Deutsche Welle, Le Monde and Ouest-France, The Guardian and African agencies APA and Ecofin have also been blocked until further notice, the CSC said. Reuters was not able to immediately reach the media groups for comment. On Saturday, Burkinabe government …

Burkina Faso says it is investigating northern killings 

Burkina Faso says it is investigating northern killings 

[ad_1] Burkina Faso is investigating killings in two northern villages in February, a government spokesperson said Saturday, dismissing a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report about the Burkinabe army’s alleged execution of 223 people there. Citing telephone interviews with witnesses, civil society and others, the HRW report released Thursday accused the military of executing residents of Nodin and Soro, including at least 56 children, as part of a campaign against civilians accused of collaborating with jihadi militants. Government spokesperson Rimtalba Jean Emmanuel Ouedraogo rejected HRW’s allegations as “peremptory” and denied that the ruling junta was unwilling to look into the alleged atrocities. “The killings in Nodin and Soro have led to the opening of a judicial investigation,” Ouedraogo said in a late evening communique, citing a March 1 statement by a regional prosecutor. Violence in the region fueled by the decade-long fight with Islamist groups linked to al- Qaida and Islamic State has worsened since respective militaries seized power in Burkina Faso and neighboring Mali and Niger in a series of coups from 2020 to 2023. …

Burkina Faso’s army summarily executed 223 civilians, says Human Rights Watch

Burkina Faso’s army summarily executed 223 civilians, says Human Rights Watch

[ad_1] Military forces in Burkina Faso killed 223 civilians, including babies and many children, in attacks on two villages accused of cooperating with militants, Human Rights Watch said in a report published Thursday.  Issued on: 25/04/2024 – 07:37 2 min The mass killings took place on Feb. 25 in the country’s northern villages of Nondin and Soro, and some 56 children were among the dead, according to the report. The human rights organization called on the United Nations and the African Union to provide investigators and to support local efforts to bring those responsible to justice. “The massacres in Nondin and Soro villages are just the latest mass killings of civilians by the Burkina Faso military in their counterinsurgency operations,” Human Rights Watch Executive Director Tirana Hassan said in a statement. “International assistance is critical to support a credible investigation into possible crimes against humanity.” The once-peaceful nation has been ravaged by violence that has pitted jihadis linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group against state-backed forces. Both sides have targeted civilians caught in …

West Africa’s Sahel becoming a drug trafficking corridor, UN warns | Drugs News

West Africa’s Sahel becoming a drug trafficking corridor, UN warns | Drugs News

[ad_1] Drug seizures, mainly of cocaine and cannabis resin, have soared in the region, according to a UN report. Drug seizures have soared in the West African Sahel region, according to a new United Nations report, indicating the conflict-ridden region is becoming an influential route for drug trafficking. In 2022, 1,466kg (3,232 pounds) of cocaine were seized in Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso and Niger compared to an average of 13kg (28.7 pounds) between 2013 and 2020, said the report released by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on Friday. Cocaine is the most seized drug in the Sahel after cannabis resin, the report added. The location of the Sahel – lying south of the Sahara desert and running from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea – makes it a natural transit point for the increasing amount of cocaine produced in South America and destined for Europe. The trafficking has detrimental effects on both peace and health, locally and globally, said Amado Philip de Andres, UNODC regional representative in West and Central Africa. …

Burkina Faso kicks out three French diplomats over ‘subversive activities’ | Espionage News

Burkina Faso kicks out three French diplomats over ‘subversive activities’ | Espionage News

[ad_1] France condemns the move and says there ‘were no legitimate grounds’ to expel its diplomats. Burkina Faso has accused three French diplomats of “subversive activities” and ordered them to leave the country within 48 hours, according to a foreign ministry letter viewed by Reuters and Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agencies. Burkina Faso’s government did not provide details of the allegations against the expelled diplomats, who it named as Gwenaelle Habouzit, Herve Fournier and Guillaume Reisacher. Reuters cited a source with direct knowledge of the situation as saying their expulsion was due to meetings they held with civil society leaders. France condemned the move on Thursday. “There were no legitimate grounds for the Burkinabe authorities’ decision. We can only deplore it,” said Christophe Lemoine, a spokesperson for France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He said the allegations against the three were “unfounded”. Fraying ties with France Since coming to power in a September 2022 coup, Burkina Faso’s military government has pulled away from France, its former colonial power, kicking out French troops, suspending some French media, …

Burkina Faso expels three French diplomats accused of ‘subversive activities’

Burkina Faso expels three French diplomats accused of ‘subversive activities’

[ad_1] Burkina Faso has expelled three French diplomats for “subversive activities”, according to a foreign ministry note seen by FRANCE 24 on Thursday. Issued on: 18/04/2024 – 10:31Modified: 18/04/2024 – 10:32 1 min The three were declared “persona non grata” and told to leave the country within 48 hours, the foreign ministry said in a note dated Tuesday that was sent to the French embassy.  Since coming to power in a September 2022 coup, the junta has distanced the West African nation from France, which ruled the country until 1960. It has notably cancelled a 1961 military accord between the two countries. The French ambassador was recalled after the coup and is yet to return to Ouagadougou, the Burkinabe capital. France said Thursday there were “no legitimate grounds” for Burkina Faso to expel three of its diplomats this week, as tensions increase between the European nation and its former colony. “There were no legitimate grounds for the Burkinabe authorities’ decision. We can only deplore it,” French foreign ministry spokesman Christophe Lemoine said On December 1, …

Deadly Sahel heatwave caused by ‘human-induced’ climate change: Study | Climate Crisis News

Deadly Sahel heatwave caused by ‘human-induced’ climate change: Study | Climate Crisis News

[ad_1] Mali and Burkina Faso recorded most extreme heat in what scientists called a once-in-a-200-year occurrence. Human-caused climate change contributed to an unusually intense and lethal hot spell throughout West Africa’s Sahel region in April, according to a study by World Weather Attribution (WWA), an international network of scientists focusing on extreme weather events. The heatwave caused temperatures in Mali and Burkina Faso to climb to more than 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) between April 1 and April 5, an unusual spike for the season that likely led to numerous deaths, said the study published on Thursday. The extreme weather also coincided with the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and frequent power cuts, heightening the risk of heat-related casualties. “Even minimum temperatures, overnight, remained relatively high, making it so that people did not get a break from the heat,” the study added. ‘Human-induced’ climate change The WWA’s observations and climate models found that “heatwaves with the magnitude observed in March and April 2024 in the region would have been impossible to occur without the …

Senegal’s women voters could make a miracle happen in presidential election | Elections News

Senegal’s women voters could make a miracle happen in presidential election | Elections News

[ad_1] Popenguine-Ndayane is home to me. This small fishing village on the Atlantic coast some 100km (62 miles) from Senegal’s capital, Dakar, is a site of pilgrimage for the country’s Christian minority. For the past 135 years, pilgrims – including the pope – have travelled here to pray at a site where they say the Black Madonna appeared. Some believe miracles happen in this village. It is a place where the sick come to be cured. Politicians also come here to get elected. Their campaigns arrive with blaring mbalax music – the popular dance tunes of Senegal – free T-shirts, and sometimes handfuls of cash and a promise that if you “vote for us, your despair will turn to hope”. “Politicians think they can make miracles,” one of my neighbours tells me with a hint of irony. Senegalese voters are not duped though. Voters gather in Popenguine-Ndayane in the days leading up to Senegal’s election [Nicolas Haque/Al Jazeera] Macky Sall’s announcement Voting is a tradition that precedes French colonial rule in Senegal: From the poet-President Leopold …