Ouagadougou (Agenzia Fides) - More than 50 people have been killed near Madjoari, a village in eastern Burkina Faso. The massacre took place on May 25, but it was not known until yesterday, May 26.
Madjoari village is located between those to the north and east blocked by jihadists who have cut off roads to the rest of the country. The army barely manages to deliver convoys with food and basic necessities. The besieged villagers try to flee, risking being intercepted and killed by the jihadist groups. This is what allegedly happened to the victims of the May 25 massacre. Before this episode, there had been several more recently in Madjoari against soldiers and civilians. On May 19, the military detachment was the target of an attack in which eleven soldiers were killed and another twenty were wounded. Five days earlier, an attack on civilians killed seventeen people and injured seven. For two months, attacks against civilians and soldiers in the north and east of the country have claimed some 200 lives. For seven years, the northern and eastern regions of Burkina Faso have been affected by attacks perpetrated by movements affiliated with Al Qaeda and the Islamic State organization (both, in turn, with ramifications in neighboring countries, such as Mali and Niger), which have caused the death of more than 2,000 people between civilians and soldiers and the displacement of almost 2 million people. We also remember the kidnapping of Sister Suellen Tennyson, a missionary of the Congregation of the Marianite Sisters of the Holy Cross, who was forcibly taken on the night of April 4-5, 2022 in northern Burkina Faso (see Fides, 6/4/2022). Finally, the country's instability has increased the infiltration of international criminal organizations that use Burkina Faso as a transit point for illicit trafficking such as drugs. On May 25, Burkina Faso customs authorities announced the seizure of 115 kg of cocaine in a van from Sierra Leone bound for Ghana. Before reaching the Burkina Faso border post, the shipment had passed through Guinea Conakry and Mali. This shows how for criminal organizations and jihadist groups, state borders are easily circumvented. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 27/5/2022)