Tensions in Burkina Faso over soldiers seeking more funds to fight terrorists
Sawako Utsumi and Noriko Watanabe
Modern Tokyo Times
Burkina Faso is blighted by Sunni Islamic terrorism, similar to many regional nations throughout this part of Africa. Soldiers, unhappy about the growing menace of terrorism and having limited resources to counter the threat, seek adequate funding and better conditions. Therefore, gunfire echoed in several army bases.
Helicopters could be heard near the residence of President Roch Marc Kabore, according to locals who witnessed events in Ouagadougou.
Lee Jay Walker says, “Political and military tensions in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, and other nations blighted by Islamic terrorism throughout the region, further add to the crisis in these nations. Hence, various Islamic terrorist groups gain from internal political intrigues and discontent within the armed forces. At the same time, internal refugees concerning the bloodshed mean that limited resources are under enormous strain.”
Voice of America reports, “But the government quickly denied rumors of a putsch, and a list of demands presented by the rebellious troops made no mention of trying to oust Kabore, while emphasizing the need for a better anti-jihadist strategy.”
Demands by soldiers – who are willing to die for Burkina Faso – include adequate care to support injured soldiers, increased financial support for families of dead soldiers, and other important demands. Also, from a military angle, soldiers want advanced military arms to fight terrorist forces.
Reuters reports, “A spokesperson for the mutineers said they were demanding “appropriate” resources and training for the army in its fight against militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State and the resignation of the army and intelligence chiefs.”
The tri-border area between Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali is a hotbed of Islamist terrorist networks. Similarly, Lake Chad is witnessing close cooperation between Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria.
Political stability throughout the region is essential in the fight against terrorism. Therefore, regional nations, the international community, important institutions under the auspices of the United Nations, the African Union, and others all need to work more closely together to stabilize a vast region.
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