Burkina Faso opposition to hold silent protests over bloodshed

PUBLISHED: Fri, 25 Jun 2021 15:25:48 GMT

OUAGADOUGOU, June 25 (Reuters) – Opposition groups will hold silent protests across Burkina Faso next month against a surge of mostly Islamist militant violence they say the government is incapable of curbing, one of their leaders said on Friday.

On June 4, more than 130 people were killed in an attack allegedly carried out mostly by children between the ages of 12 and 14, shocking a nation plagued by jihadists linked to Islamic State and al Qaeda.

The massacre in the northeastern village of Solhan “represents the climax of the slaughter,” Eddie Komboigo, the leader of the largest opposition party, said at a news conference to announce nationwide protests on July 3-4.

“This tragic situation … marks the government’s inability to find solutions for the security of the Burkinabe.”

Burkina Faso’s government has acknowledged the rising violence but has defended its handling of security matters.

Attacks by Islamist extremists continue unabated across West Africa’s Sahel region, including neighbouring Mali and Niger, despite interventions by international armed forces.

The violence has, in just over two years, displaced more than 1 million people within Burkina Faso, which also hosts about 20,000 refugees from Mali. (Reporting by Thiam Ndiaga Writing by Alessandra Prentice Editing by Aaron Ross and David Gregorio)

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