BURKINA FASO - Growing but stifled opposition Spécial

© TDR © TDR

In Burkina Faso, the attack on March 31, 2024 in Tawori, in the east of the country, claimed by the JNIM, a terrorist organization linked to al-Qaeda, which killed at least 73 people, led to the dismissal of an officer from the armed forces for a particularly serious offence. Captain Aboubacar Sidiki Barry was accused of late deployment of air support and drones during the assault on his military base, and of failing to heed warnings. These repeated terrorist attacks due to endemic insecurity deeply worried the opposition which, on April 4, created a new front called "the Front for the Defense of the Republic" (FDR). Despite elaborate communication on military efforts, the population is having a hard time coping with the constraints imposed by draconian measures that have failed to put an end to insecurity in the East and in other provinces of the country.

Denouncing the "excesses of the transition" and the immense humanitarian and social tragedies underway, the new political entity says it aims to re-establish republican order and a consensual civil transition leading to free elections. The Front also demands the "immediate release of all those forcibly enlisted, abducted or sequestered by militias under the orders of Ibrahim Traoré". The same opposition is also concerned about the numerous arbitrary arrests committed by elements of the Internal Security Forces, and demands their immediate release.

After local protests, the government is facing serious accusations following the publication of a Human Rights Watch report accusing Burkina Faso's armed forces, battling armed jihadist groups, of having "executed at least 223 civilians", including at least 56 children, in two attacks in the north of the country, which the organization believes could constitute "serious crimes against humanity".

Following the dissemination of this report by international media, the country's competent authorities decided to temporarily suspend many of these international media relaying the incriminating facts or considered hostile to the transition under the leadership of Captain Ibrahim Traoré.