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The United Nations human rights chief sounded the alarm over rising violence in Burkina Faso

Allegations of responsibility are directed against both armed groups and State actors.

“While armed groups are believed to be responsible for the majority of incidents and victims and must be held accountable, I am also extremely concerned that the security, defense and auxiliary forces of Surname, Volunteers pour la defense de la patrieallegedly carried out indiscriminate killings, including summary executions,” said Volker Türk, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in declare.

The reported killings were among alleged violations and abuses affecting at least 2,732 individuals in the West African country between November 2023 and April 2024.

That number spiked 71% compared to six months ago.

Civilians are attacked

According to the United Nations human rights office, OHCHRarmed groups, e.g Jamāʿat nuṣrat al-islām wal-muslimīnThe Islamic State in Greater Sahara, and other similar organizations, have stepped up attacks against civilians, including internally displaced persons.

State forces were also accused of being behind the violence.

In one the incident was particularly disgustingMore than 220 civilians, including 56 children, were reported killed in attacks believed to have been carried out by the army in two villages in the north in a single day in late February.

Burkina Faso has been under military rule since early 2022 amid a radical rebel uprising that sparked a series of coups and counter-coups. Captain Ibrahim Traoré was appointed transitional president in September 2022 and the transitional government has continued to fight the rebels and reported further counter-coup efforts.

In a highly unstable situation, more than six million Burkinabè people, out of a total population of 20 million, were dependent on humanitarian aid.

Respect international law

“I fully appreciate the complex security threats facing Burkina Faso. Responding to these threats will only be successful if international law is fully respected. Therefore, I reiterate my call to the Burkina Faso authorities to take all possible measures to ensure the protection of civilians,” High Commissioner Türk said.

He called on the Government to support a thorough, independent and transparent investigation into all alleged violations and abuses of international law, and to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice through legal proceedings.

“There must be justice and accountability if the authorities want to reassure the people, restore social cohesion and rebuild trust between the people and the security forces,” Mr. Türk added.

The High Commissioner raised his concerns about the situation in Burkina Faso with Government officials, including President Traoré, during his visit to the country March.


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