Burkina Faso: “One attack too many”

In this article published by a Burkinabe online platform, Newton Ahmend Barry, president of the country’s independent National Electoral Commission, analyses the double attack that took place on 2 March in Ouagadougou. “We are wrong to believe that France or the G5 Sahel will solve our problems. No people in the world has ever been rescued by another people,” Barry wrote. The attacks were organised ess than two weeks after a joint military operation at the border with Mali. This points to the fact that Burkinabe actors are actively involved in the jihadists’ networks. “Iyad no longer sends us his Arab or Tuareg commandos, which would have been easy to detect in our environment, but our own brothers who are not easy to identify at first sight”, Barry states. Jihadist movements no longer attack soft targets, but are striking at the heart of the Burkinabe security system. They invaded the army’s headquarters with simple weapons (Kalashnicovs and Molotov cocktails). The northern areas of the Sahel have been largely neglected. The government clearly missed an opportunity to effectively control its borders with Mali. The security strategy must not solely focus on just securing the capital city (“Bunkerisation”). The people cannot claim Thomas Sankara and mourn his fate, he writes. “If we are not able to defend our homeland and keep it free, then we deserve the terrorists to terrorize us.”