Tear gas was fired at protesters who denounced the Islamist attacks


Protesters are calling for the president’s resignation

Police in Burkina Faso fired tear gas at protesters against the state’s failure to stem the escalation of Islamist violence.

Some set up barricades and burned tires as scuffles spread in the streets of the capital, Ouagadougou.

Authorities suspended mobile internet services and deployed hundreds of riot police to stop the gathering.

There is growing anger against both the government and the French soldiers who support Burkina Faso’s army.

Hundreds of people joined Saturday’s protest, organized by a group calling itself the November 27 Alliance and calling for the president’s resignation.

“We reject the loss of Burkina Faso. We will appoint a qualified person to ensure the security of the nation,” one protester told the Associated Press news agency.

A child was injured after security forces fired tear gas, Agence France-Presse reported.

Local media outlets Pomega and Flynnfoss said two of their journalists were also hit by tear gas.

A spokesperson for the November 27 coalition reported “a large number of wounded,” including two in a coma. It was not immediately possible to independently verify the claim.

There has been an escalation of violence since the beginning of November, with dozens of security officers killed.

The worst was on November 14 when 53 paramilitary officers and four civilians were killed during a raid on a camp in Enata in the north.

After news emerged that officers’ food had run out in the run-up to the attack, President Rosh Kabore said he would announce “imminent changes” within the military structure, and ordered the “active and effective” presence of military commanders on the front line.

The semi-arid Sahel region of Africa has been rocked by an insurgency since militants seized large parts of northern Mali in 2012 and 2013.

In Burkina Faso, violence has forced more than a million people from their homes in the past two years.

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