Burkina Faso: Statement On the Escalation of Violence Against Civilians in Burkina Faso

A military convoy on a counter-terrorism patrol in the Sahara Desert.

The United States is gravely concerned by the rise in violence against civilians in northern and eastern Burkina Faso in late February.

In addition to deadly attacks on multiple military installations, terrorists killed dozens of worshipers in a mosque in Natiaboani and churches in Essakane, a tribal leader and his security team in Kominyenga, and civilian road crews in multiple locations. Such attacks on civilians, especially in their places of worship, are reprehensible.

In separate incidents, Burkinabe forces reportedly attacked and killed civilians in Tuy. These most recent attacks follow previous incidents of large-scale violence against civilians in 2023, notably at Karma, Zaongo, and several locations in the province of Soum. We call upon the Transition Authorities to complete investigations of these incidents with integrity and transparency and hold those responsible to account. We reiterate our previous calls for the Transition Authorities to ensure that security operations are planned and executed with respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of civilians. The only long-term solution to the scourge of terrorism is expanding good governance based on the rule of law, respecting human rights, and promoting social cohesion.

The United States remains a committed partner to the Burkinabe people, providing hundreds of millions of dollars in development and humanitarian assistance, as well as counterterrorism support to civilian security and law enforcement actors.

Matthew Miller, Department Spokesperson

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