The interim military government in Burkina Faso has launched a drive to recruit 50,000 civilian defence volunteers to join the army in its battle against insurgents.
Burkina Faso has been battling insurgents since 2015 and has recently been rocked by two coups in less than a year.
Captain Ibrahim Traore who seized power last month named a transition government on Tuesday evening.
Just before being designated minister of territorial administration, Colonel Boukare Zoungrana announced more civilians would be enlisted to push back the militants.
“Recruitment has been launched for 35,000 volunteers for the defence of the nation” from different districts, he said.
Their mission “will be to protect the population and belongings of their districts alongside the security forces,” he added.
The authorities on Monday had already announced it would build a force of 15,000 other volunteers “who could be deployed across the whole of the national territory.”
The “volunteers for the defence of the nation” have legally existed since 2020 following two-week-long training before being handed weapons and means of communication.
Beyond the civilian volunteers, the military is also looking to hire 3,000 more soldiers to boost its ranks.
The insurgents control nearly half of Burkino Faso’s territory. In the latest attack on Monday, at least 10 Burkina Faso soldiers were killed in the northern city of Djibo.
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