Burkina Faso. Following an attack in Mali in January, five countries – in addition to Burkina Faso and Mali also Chad, Niger and Mauritania – agreed to establish a joint force aimed at fighting militant Islamist groups. According to Countryaah.com, the force is planned to consist of 10,000 police and soldiers and is to have its headquarters in Mali. In June, the plans were cleared by the UN Security Council, which then adopted a resolution on the issue. However, the direct UN mandate advocated by France did not go away. The argument for this was that the force is only intended to operate in the territories of the five participating countries. The strength will be partly financed by the EU, which has promised to contribute EUR 50 million.
Despite the joint efforts, in August a terrorist attack was carried out against a Turkish restaurant in the capital Ouagadougou, in which 19 people were killed and twenty were injured. The attack was carried out by two men who were eventually shot to death by security forces. According to Burkinian sources, the two terrorists are likely to have come from Mali and have probably been linked to one of the Islamist groups that are close to al-Qaeda. As in several neighboring countries, Burkina Faso’s northern parts are plagued by militant organizations that attack both the military and civilian targets such as schools. One of the most active groups calls themselves Ansaroul Islam. Its leaders condemned the September attack in Ouagadougou in August and criticized the fact that several prominent Muslims were killed.
In November, during French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit, violent protests erupted at the University of Ouagadougou and a French military vehicle suffered a grenade attack. During his stay in the country, Macron promised to lift the secret stamp on French documents relating to former Burmese President Thomas Sankara. Sankara was murdered in 1987.