According to the government, Islamic militants killed 41 people in an attack in northern Burkina Faso last week, including the senior leader of a volunteer group assisting the country’s military.
Following the tragic attack on a truck in Loroum province on Thursday, government spokesperson Alkassoum Maiga declared two days of mourning.
Soumaila Ganame, also known as Ladji Yoro, was one of the victims. President Roch Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso stated Ganame “must be an example of our firm determination to battle the enemy” since he died for his country.
According to Heni Nsaibia, a senior researcher at the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, the murder of Burkina Faso’s most significant volunteer leader has produced a sense of dread.
“While Ganame rose to notoriety as a popular counter-insurgent who was instrumental in mobilizing (volunteers) in Loroum and Yatenga, he was also the personification of the absent state,” he added.
As strikes connected to al-Qaida and the Islamic State escalate, violence in the once-peaceful West African nation is rising. In November, more than 50 gendarmes were slain in the country’s deadliest security attack in recent memory, while at least 160 people were massacred in the Sahel area in June.
Despite the fact that Burkina Faso’s security forces are performing the most operations in the hazardous Sahel area compared to its neighbors, the army is overstretched, putting out one fire at a time, according to Nsaibia.
Volunteer fighters have been accused of human rights violations against people suspected of fighting alongside jihadists, but they have also been attacked.
With weeks of protests taking place in November, the administration is facing calls to resign due to its failure to halt the violence. As a result, the president dismissed his prime minister earlier this month.