Violence Mars Protest Against Militancy in Burkina Faso

Violence Mars Protest Against Militancy in Burkina Faso( News Central TV)

Demonstrations turned violent in Ouagadougou on Saturday after police shot tear gas to disperse a march against the state’s failure to stem a wave of militant insurgency.

The protesters called for nationwide demonstrations in response to a recent surge in militancy and attacks by al-Qaeda-linked militants that killed 49 Burkinabe security forces and four civilians two weeks ago near a gold mine in Inata.

Burkina Faso has suffered insurgency since 2015 and has fuelled resentment against the State and the French military forces providing logistics to the Army.

Protesters have since sustained demonstrations against President Roch Kabore’s government. On Saturday morning, military police officers shot tear gas canisters to disperse dozens of teeming protesters trying to march downtown Ouagadougou.

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Recently, protestors in Kaya northeast of Ouagadougou prevented the passage of a French military convoy on its way to neighbouring Niger for nearly a week. 

Angry protesters erected barricades, burned tyres and trash cans in other Ouagadougou.

Some demonstrators later destroyed a government records building across from the mayor’s office, leaving shattered computers and documents in the front yard.

Kabore promised in a speech to the nation on Thursday to bring militancy to a halt and end “dysfunction” within the military after reports the gendarmes at the base near Inata had run out of food weeks before the attack.

Citizens’ provocation in response to the latest attacks has rattled the authorities, who disrupted access to mobile internet, a week ago and refused to authorise Saturday’s protests.

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The United Nations’ special envoy to West Africa has expressed concerns over the situation in Burkina Faso and warned against any military takeover, following the incessant coups in three neighbouring countries.

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