The Sahel region in north-west Burkina Faso was yet again subjected to Jihadist violence on Saturday night. Heavily armed Islamic fundamentalists carried out their terror attack in Lamdamol village in Seno province, killing 20 civilians.
— FRANCE 24 English (@France24_en) February 2, 2020
A local official stated, “There is panic in the village and the surrounding area.” He added that people have been forced to flee their homes and migrate towards centre-north region of Burkina Faso. The official also informed that the chief nurse in Lamdamol was among the victims.
The attack comes at the backdrop of France’s decision to send additional troops to the Sahel region. The conflict began with Islamic fundamentalists gained control over northern Mali in 2012. This prompted the French government to launch a military offensive against them.
Even though a peace treaty was signed between the two parties in 2015, it never materialised. The jihadists are known to be associated with al-Qaeda and the ISIS.
In light of the terrorist attacks that have plagued the country and claimed close to 4000 lives, the government of Burkina Faso has decided to arm its civilians. It is of the view that armed volunteers can help stop the spread of violence. Critics, however, argue that such a move can heighten the ethnic conflict between rival farming and fishing communities.
In its defence, the Government has stated that such a move was necessary, keeping in mind the limited number of soldiers and the absence of proper training facilities. As such, any individual above the age of 18 who possess a “spirit of sacrifice” and is not associated with any political party can be recruited by the government.
Burkina Faso has come under several attacks from Islamic fundamentalists in recent times. In a deadly terrorist attack executed in December last year, a total of 35 civilians lost their lives.