July 28, 2021

In eastern Burkina Faso, villages trapped by jihadists

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The jihadist trap has closed in Madjoari, in eastern Burkina Faso. There, 400 kilometers from the capital, in the heart of Arly Park, hundreds of people are trying to survive, surrounded by jihadists. They are the last, recluse in a district of Tambarga.

In one month, the thirteen other villages and hamlets of the commune were emptied of their population. Out of 14,000 inhabitants, 13,000 fled to neighboring towns and Benin, across the border. In Tambarga, cut off from the world, life has come to a standstill, hanging on to the same question asked by the villagers: “How long are we going to last?” “

Read also In Burkina Faso, anger is mounting among the population at the increase in attacks

On June 29, the terrorists gave them a final ultimatum. “They told us: ‘Go away or we’ll come back and kill you'”, says Diérigou Koaré, a municipal councilor from Madjoari, passing through Ouagadougou. He ensures that he only has news “Dropper” since almost all telephone antennas have been “Sacked” by the attackers.

Here, as elsewhere in the region, it has been more than three years since the inhabitants saw the threat advancing and tried to alert the authorities, in vain. “It’s the status quo, they never followed up on our calls”, denounces the chosen one, bitter.

Can’t escape

In Burkina Faso, the worsening violence, which has killed several thousand people and more than a million displaced in six years, is putting the government under pressure. For the first time since the start of the jihadist attacks, thousands of people marched across the country to express their ” Fed up “. A new demonstration is scheduled for Saturday July 10 in Dori, in the Sahel region (north).

The last time Aboubacar *, a nursing student from Madjoari, spoke to her 55-year-old mother on the phone, she was crying. “The terrorists are around, they will come back to kill us”, she whispered to her son that night, hiding in an attempt to capture a mile from the village. Aboubacar does not know when he will see her again. And even less his 65-year-old father, his brothers and sisters, his cousins, all left behind.

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