HRW provokes increased violence against civilians

In Burkina Faso, violence against civilians has increased dramatically over the past nine months, according to the latest Human Rights Watch survey published on Monday, May 16, 2022.

• NGO interviewed 83 survivors of security incidents that occurred between September 2021 and April 2022, in six regions of the country. Healthcare professionals, security analysts, government officials, foreign diplomats, UN representatives and aid workers were also examined.

It appears from this study that civilians are increasingly being targeted, not only by terrorist groups, but also by defense and security forces, as well as by volunteers from the home country’s defense.

Islamist armed groups have tried to take control from the north to the center of the country. They attack small villages and even the largest city, such as Dablo, Namissiguima. So they issued their ultimatum to the people to leave, and since they did not leave, they attacked the village. We also documented 42 alleged executions and 14 forced disappearances by law enforcement agencies, including the pro-government minister. Most of the incidents were provoked in the fight against terrorism. Most of the victims had been subjected to their alleged recruitment to the jihadist group. From 2020, law enforcement agencies have decreased significantly. But it started to increase again around September-October last year.

Corinne Dufka, Sahel Director of Human Rights Watch

The Burkinabe authorities have contacted the RFI and “reserve the right to respond in a timely manner”.

• Child soldiers in armed terrorist groups

This is one of the conclusions of the latest Human Rights Watch inquiry. Witnesses interviewed mentioned the increasingly significant presence of children during terrorist attacks.

The youngest was 10 years old, but most were teenagers aged 14-16-17.

Corinne Dufka, Sahel Director of Human Rights Watch

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