Over the past few years, Burkina Faso has seen repeated militant attacks in its northern region. Northern Burkina Faso is where the country has its neighbors Niger and Mali located. Because Burkina Faso has failed to control the jihadist insurgency near its borders, the fighting has swelled into the neighboring nations. Mali and Niger have provided their assistance to the Burkina Faso government over the years to stop the militants. But Burkina Faso still finds it hard to end the conflicts in its north, which appear to be spreading into other parts of the country.
Northern Burkina Faso under Attack
The extremist groups in Burkina Faso have dominated most rural parts of Burkina Faso over the years. Because of this, the militants have had an easy time taking control of other regions near the north of Burkina Faso and running their operations. Additionally, because they have so much control, extremist groups have also managed to take over northern Mali and central Mali parts.
The armed militants have caused great havoc when they carry out attacks. The populations in the north of Burkina Faso have reduced drastically in just a few years. Hundreds of thousands of locals have lost their lives as they got caught up in the region’s conflict. Moreover, numerous others have ended up fleeing their homes into other countries to find the same jihadists in the different countries.
There has been no safer shelter for those fleeing the fighting. Due to this, some parents in the north have sought to give up their children to the militants as recruits. Because no one knows what the next day will bring with it, some of these individuals have chosen to let the jihadists take their children instead of killing them. People still in hiding in northern Burkina Faso remain scared. Most of those hiding have lost their loved ones in the crossfires with the extremists. On the other hand, others hide with doubts in their minds as to whether their loved ones made it to safety.
The Death of the Expectant Woman
This week Burkina Faso saw a new attack carried out by militants in the northern area. A pregnant woman and five other people lost their lives in the attack. According to a government official, the individuals lost their lives when an ambulance carrying them hit a land mine in the region. The ambulance was carrying the pregnant woman and her husband as well as a girl and two other women. The individuals were traveling between Gaskinde and Namissiguia near Burkina Faso’s border with Mali when they died.
The government official revealed that no group had so far claimed responsibility for laying the land mine. But because attacks linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State have increased in the region. Because of these, authorities believed they laid the land mine causing the deaths.
In the past three years, numerous people have died in northern Burkina Faso. More than a million other people have fled their homes. Because of this, Burkina Faso’s government has considered for the first time to open talks with the militants to try and end the insurgency. Neighboring Mali also chose to emulate Burkina Faso and hold talks this year.