Ouagadougou (Agenzia Fides) - "In the churches of Burkina Faso, the faithful pray for peace" says Fr. Oscar Zoungrana, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Burkina Faso, where on January 15 a group of terrorists of Al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) killed at least 29 people of different nationalities in the attack against Splendid hotel (frequented especially by UN officials) and the nearby restaurant "Le Cappuccino" (see Fides 16/01/2016).
"People are still in shock. It is true that a similar incident had occurred recently in Mali, near our Country, and many said that Burkina Faso could be targeted by terrorists", says to Fides Fr. Oscar . "For many it was a surprise, because in our Country a tragedy of this proportion has never happened.
There had already been an attack against some police officers at the border with Mali, but an attack of this scale in the capital caught us by surprise".
Burkina Faso has just ended a period of transition following the ouster of former President Blaise Compaore, which culminated with the election on November 29, and led to the designation of Roch Marc Christian Kaboré as new President.
"On Saturday, January 16 the new government held an extraordinary Council of Ministers and decided to hold a national mourning for three days", says Fr. Oscar. "The site of the attack is still surrounded by the security forces to allow the work of the investigators to continue. Mali and Burkina Faso have also agreed to coordinate efforts to fight against terrorists while the collaboration with the French and American forces present in our country has also been reinforced".
According to the priest, the aim of the terrorists is not so much to destabilize the Country but to "target foreigners to block the cooperation between African countries, such as Burkina Faso and Mali, and Europe and international institutions". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 18/01/2016)