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World French military convoy in Burkina remains blocked after protests

15:50  25 november  2021
15:50  25 november  2021 Source:   afp.com

Burkina Faso: manifestation on the degraded security situation after the attack of INATA

 Burkina Faso: manifestation on the degraded security situation after the attack of INATA © AFP Photo / SIA Kambou The protesters have shouted their anger in the face of the recurrence of terrorist attacks and their macabre balance sheet. Here, seen from the city center of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. This is the continuation of the Inata Gendarmerie detachment attack, in the province of Soum last Sunday, which officially made 32 dead according to a temporary assessment.

A French military convoy heading for Mali remained blocked in Burkina Faso on Thursday after being hampered by protests.

Burkinabe troops patrol near a French armoured vehicle at Kaya, where the convoy encountered a large protest last Friday © OLYMPIA DE MAISMONT Burkinabe troops patrol near a French armoured vehicle at Kaya, where the convoy encountered a large protest last Friday

The convoy, comprising several dozen vehicles, is heading for a French base in Gao in the violence-torn centre of Mali.

It first has to transit through Burkina Faso, which lies to the south, and then through Niger, to the east.

After entering Burkina's territory from Ivory Coast last week, the convoy was slowed by protesters at Bobo Dioulasso, the country's second largest city, and then at Ouagadougou, the capital.

North of Burkina: 53 deaths in the Sunday attack against gendarmes (new assessment)

 North of Burkina: 53 deaths in the Sunday attack against gendarmes (new assessment) © Issouf Sanogo Gendarmes in Burkina Faso, in 2018 At least 49 gendarmes and four civilians were killed during the attack Perpetrated Sunday by alleged jihadists against a detachment from Inata Gendarmerie, in northern Burkina Faso, according to a new balance sheet communicated by the government spokesman on Wednesday. "We can establish the following balance sheet: 49 deceased gendarmes, 4 civilians (killed).

On Friday, the biggest demonstration occurred at Kaya, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of Ouagadougou.

Thousands of protesters, some carrying placards reading "French army, leave" and "free the Sahel" and singing the Burkinabe national anthem, forced the convoy to hole up on a site near the town.

The following day, four people suffered gunshot wounds in Kaya, in circumstances that remain unclear -- French and Burkinabe soldiers fired warning shots to disperse demonstrators.

The convoy on Thursday was stationed in a military area about 30 kilometres (18 miles) northeast of Ouagadougou, pending the outcome of talks to let the trucks leave for Niger, the next country in the trek.

The protests are being organised by a group called the Coalition of the African Patriots of Burkina Faso, or COPA BF.

Burkina Faso: The still French military convoy blocked at the entrance of Kaya, the situation speaks

 Burkina Faso: The still French military convoy blocked at the entrance of Kaya, the situation speaks © Olympia of Maismont / AFP Soldiers Burkinabe patrolt near a grumbled zone where the French soldiers were removed from the 20th of November 2021. The convoy of the French army is preparing to spend a third night in Kaya, a hundred kilometers from the city. After the failure of the mediation of the administrative authorities and politicians, French soldiers had to make summons to push the protesters. with our correspondent in Ouagadougou, Yaya BOUDANI "The French army will retreat.

"In spite of the (security) accords signed with France, we continue to have more fatalities and our country is still under-equipped," said its spokesman, Roland Baya.

- Social media rumours -

France has deployed more than 5,000 troops in the Sahel, backed by planes and drones, to shore up Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso against jihadists who launched a bloody insurgency more than nine years ago.

Map of Burkina Faso © Sophie RAMIS Map of Burkina Faso

But false rumours proliferating on social media -- which were also recounted by several protesters -- claimed the convoy was in fact carrying weapons for the jihadists.

Foreign Minister Alpha Barry on Wednesday hit out at the rumours, saying it was "unimaginable that our army would escort a convoy to bring (weapons) to the terrorists."

He added that he hoped negotiations with the protest organisers to defuse the situation would "swiftly wind up."

French military denies injuring protesters in Burkina Faso

  French military denies injuring protesters in Burkina Faso KAYA, Burkina Faso (AP) — The French military has denied injuring civilians in Burkina Faso when firing warning shots to disperse protesters who had blocked one of its military convoys. Amid an increase in Islamic extremist violence in Burkina Faso, tensions have increased. Many people in Burkina Faso are angry that the former colonial power is not doing more to protect them in the West African country’s five-year fight against jihadists linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group, which has left thousands dead and displaced more than 1.4 million people.

Barry said that France and Burkina, which as Upper Volta was a French colony until independence in 1960, had "historic relations."

"People shouldn't be targeting the wrong enemy -- France has always been at our side when we asked for its help," Barry said.

The French army had helped bring Burkinabe troops to remote places threatened by jihadists, he said.

They helped in this way after an attack on November 14 on a gendarmerie base in Inata, northern Burkina Faso, that claimed 57 lives, he revealed.

Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world.

Its armed forces are ill-equipped against the jihadists, who are adept at planting roadside bombs and carrying out ambushes and hit-and-run raids on motorbikes.

Anger at the security crisis has spilled over into the political arena, where thousands have demonstrated against President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

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Niger: The convoy of the Barkhane mission finally arrived in Gao after many .
© Daphne Benoit, AFP of the French soldiers in the middle of a convoy of armored vehicles on March 27, 2019, at the beginning of Operation Barkhane , in the region of Gourma in Mali. The suppressive military convoy of the French army Party of Côte d'Ivoire has finally arrived in Gao, after many clashes and demonstrations on the road, against the presence of France in the Sahel, which have made three dead in Niger. Narrative and explanations.

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