By Peace December Burkina Faso:
Burkina Faso is a West African country, which is surrounded by six neighbors: Mali to the north; Niger to the east; Benin to the southeast; Togo and Ghana to the south; and Ivory Coast to the southwest. It is a landlocked country with an area of 274,200 square kilometres (105,900 sq mi). Its population is estimated over 20 million. It was colonized by France and French is the official language. The president is Rock Christian Marc Kabore who took power in 2014 after being elected. His predecessor Blaise Compaore who ruled the country for over 27 years, stepped down after many protestors took to the streets and demanded his resignation.
Until 2014, Burkina Faso was a haven of peace although surrounded by some countries such as Mali where a group of terrorists were very active in the north. Things toppled after the former President Blaise Compaore stepped down in 2014 from the power. Compaore played a key role in the release of several western hostages held by terrorist groups in Africa.
One of the first terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso was in 2015. According to a Counter Extremist Project’ s report, “on August 23, 2015, unidentified gunmen targeted a police post in northern Burkina Faso, near the country’s border with Mali. Two soldiers were wounded in the attack, one of whom was seriously injured.” The terrorist groups hit again the country in January 15, 2016. Terrorists attacked with heavy weapons the Cappuccino restaurant and the Splendid Hotel in the heart of Ouagadougou the capital of Burkina Faso. 30 people were killed, 56 wounded, 176 hostages released later. Al – Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Al – Mourabitoun claimed the responsibility.
Since then, terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso happen almost every day. The North and East of the country are areas where terrorists regularly attack civilians, civilian infrastructures and sometimes security apparatus.
According to Worlddata.info, from 2013 to 2017 there were in Burkina Faso 111 terrorist’s attacks, 317 killed, 283 injuries, and 542 hostages. According to the Congres pour la Democratie et le Progres (CDP), which is an opposition party in Burkina Faso, 273 schools are closed, 64,000 students stopped going to school, and 21, 000 teachers stopped teaching due to the terrorism.
The country is in the quest of peace. One of the terrorists group leader in the North is a Burkinabe: “Malam Ibrahim Dicko, a preacher from Soum, is a manifestation of widespread discontent at the province’s social order. For years, Malam promoted equality between classes and questioned the dominance of traditional chiefs and the monopolization of religious authority by marabout families – religious leaders – whom he accuses of enriching themselves at the population’s expense,” wrote Global Observatory, adding that “The northern region has been widely excluded from economic and social development, and poverty remains a significant challenge. A failure to address poverty and inequality, and their roots in lack of education, may result in an increase in ideological and religious fundamentalism.”
Most importantly “the situation in Burkina Faso is “a profound social crisis in the north: “Divisions between masters and subjects, rulers and ruled, ancient and modern provide the base upon which Malam Dicko’s popularity grew.” Peace through dialogue may be the solution.
Against the aforementioned dire condition in Burkina Faso and West Africa in general, Peace December International is establishing Peace December Burkina Faso to help prevent further public safety deterioration in the country and the region at large. Peace December, therefore, invites all regional peace stakeholders, Burkinabe and friends of Burkina Faso to support Peace December Burkina Faso’s mission and objectives of stemming the rising tide of religious extremism and the wonton slaughtering of innocence that associates with it.
For further information about Peace December Burkina Faso, please log on to www.peacedecember.org or call (1-718) 822-5555
About Peace December:
Peace December promotes peaceful coexistence through education, dialogue, public safety activities and harmonization of individual and group differences during the month of December and throughout the year.