AFRICA/BURKINA FASO - When the death of the poor does not appear in the news

Tuesday, 14 May 2024

by Mauro Armanino

Ouagadougou (Agenzia Fides) - They were killed on Monday May 6th. They made the mistake of trusting the military and the "Volunteers of the Fatherland" who accompanied them. They thought their ID card would protect them. A total of 21 people in a courtyard in Moualoungou village and 130 people in Tambi Bounima village, pregnant women, men, children and passers-by, were executed without cause by the military convoy that set off. They are poor, farmers, almost all of them Christians, and therefore the military regime that is in power in Burkina Faso does not even have the right to receive news of their death. They disappeared, never existed, were swallowed up by violence, which responds to violence with the same blindness. Already last February or March, several people from Bibigou and Soualamou in the Gourmanché region of Burkina Faso were killed along the road. Witness accounts are certain and there are images taken on cell phones.
Meanwhile, the farmers, held hostage by the demand for a per-person "tax", conversion to jihadist armed groups or the exodus, without anything, are hiding in the bush or seeking refuge and safety across the border. Human rights are not respected and there is censorship, said the catechist. Since November last year, the European Union has been calling on the military authorities in Burkina Faso to investigate allegations of killings of civilians in various parts of the country. The human rights organization Human Rights Watch, for its part, accused the authorities of killing 223 civilians, including 56 children, in two villages in February 2024. The ordeal of the people of Burkina Faso continues, amid massacres by armed groups and the military supported by the “volunteers of the country”, which is moving further and further away from the path of peace. (Agenzia Fides, 14/5/2024)