Burkina president slams ‘dysfunctions’ after attack
Burkina Faso’s president has vowed to address “dysfunctions” hampering the country’s security forces after a jihadist attack that killed dozens of gendarmes.
In a nationwide address late Thursday, Roch Marc Christian Kabore said he expected an urgent investigation into the attack to be completed by Tuesday.
“We have to end the unacceptable dysfunctions which are sapping the morale of our fighting troops and hampering their effectiveness in the fight against armed terrorist groups,” he said.
“Our soldiers should not be abandoned as a result of bureaucracy or clearly culpable negligence.”
Kabore has been facing mounting anger over failures to stem a jihadist insurgency that swept in from neighbouring Mali.
Groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State group have plagued the landlocked Sahel nation since 2015, killing about 2,000 people and displacing 1.4 million from their homes.
The November 14 attack saw hundreds of fighters storm a gendarmerie camp at Inata in the north of the country, killing 53 police and four others.
It was the biggest daily loss among the security forces in the history of the insurgency.
The gendarmes were due to be relieved several days earlier and had appealed for help before the attack, saying they were running short of food and ammunition.
“We will draw all the disciplinary consequences and take the appropriate judicial action,” Kabore promised.
He pledged to oversee “scrupulously, more than in the past, the questions of logistics, bonuses and strengthening the operational capacity of our fighting forces”.
Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world and its armed forces are ill-equipped against the highly mobile jihadist groups.
An anti-Kabore protest, scheduled to be held in the capital Ouagadougou on Saturday by three groups in an alliance called the November 27 Coalition, has been banned by mayor Armand Beouinde, according to a security circular seen by AFP on Thursday.
The government has also ordered a four-day cut in mobile internet access with effect from Wednesday, adding to an earlier four-day suspension for “security reasons”.