At least 35 civilians killed and 37 injured after bomb explosion in Burkina Faso

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Junta leader says he will respect two-year transition period

At least 35 civilians were killed and 37 injured after an IED exploded while traveling in a convoy in Burkina Faso’s northern Sahel region, local authorities said.

“One of the vehicles carrying civilians in this convoy exploded on contact with an improvised explosive device. The provisional toll shows 35 dead and 37 injured, all civilians,” said the governor of the Sahel region, Rodolphe Sorgho, in statements collected by the Burkina Faso Intelligence Agency (AIB).

The dead and injured were traveling in an army-escorted supply convoy that left Djibo, in the north of the country, for Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. This type of convoy supplies the towns in the north blocked by jihadist groups, which in recent months have prevented the supply of several towns, such as Djibo, Titao or Pama.

In a speech delivered to the nation on Sunday, the Head of State, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, reaffirmed his determination to fight against these groups. Damiba himself stressed on Monday that he would honor his commitment to hand over power to civilian authorities after a two-year transition period opened after the January coup that toppled then-president Roch Marc. Christian Kabore.

Damiba, who met with Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, stressed that Ouagadougou will honor commitments made with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regarding the length of the transition period. “I guarantee that the commitments made by Burkina Faso to the international community will be respected,” he said.

“The transition will act in the first place to achieve a little more stability inside the country and will organize elections for the return to a normal constitutional order”, he explained, according to a press release published by the Directorate of the Communication of the Presidency of Burkina. Faso through its official account on the Facebook social network.

For his part, Ouattara told Damiba of his government’s “full support” for the “efforts” of the military junta in the face of the terrorist threat. “We consider that this situation of terrorist attacks affects the entire sub-region and we must do everything we can to support you and help you (…) with cooperation at the level of the defense and security forces”, he said. he argued.

The Ivorian president also showed his support for “initiatives in terms of dialogue between populations and reconciliation initiatives” arguing that “this is an important lever for building trust between the different populations of the same country”.

Burkina Faso has generally experienced a significant increase in insecurity since 2015, which has led to a wave of displaced people and refugees to other countries in the region. The attacks, the work of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State affiliates in the region, have also contributed to an increase in inter-communal violence and led to a blossoming of vigilante groups, to which the Burkinabe government has added “volunteers” to contribute to the fight against terrorism.

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