OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) – Burkina Faso’s parliament has voted to provide funding and training to local vigilantes in response to the growing firepower of jihadist groups who threaten to overrun government forces across large swathes of the West African country.
The move, which is expected to apply mostly to vigilante groups called koglweogo – “guardians of the bush” in the Moore language – has drawn concerns from the United Nations and human rights activists, who fear it could empower fighters accused of ethnic killings in the past.
Vigilantes - Response - Instability - Revolution - President
The vigilantes grew significantly as a response to instability that followed the 2014 revolution that overthrew longtime President Blaise Compaore. There are an estimated 40,000 such groups across Burkina Faso, according to the U.N.
“This law was voted unanimously by the parliament,” Defence Minister Moumina Cheriff Sy told reporters after the vote late on Tuesday. “It shows that beyond our differences of opinion… we can be one when it comes to defending the homeland.”
Security - Burkina - Faso - Neighbors - Sahel
Security deteriorated dramatically across Burkina Faso and its neighbors in the semi-arid Sahel region last year, as Islamist...
Wake Up To Breaking News!