Christians killed in church attack in Burkina Faso: Islamist threat in West Africa
Boutros Hussein and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Suspected Islamists have killed 6 Christians, including the Protestant pastor, in the northern part of Burkina Faso. This latest suspected Islamist terrorist attack is a further sign of the growing problem facing Burkina Faso. Hence, the menace of religious extremism is growing throughout the region based on the same faith that sows mayhem in parts of the Middle East and Asia.
It is believed that Islamists seek to wreak religious animosity and to make the most of weak central governments that have limited military might in several nations throughout West Africa. Of importance to northern Burkina Faso is the pressing Islamist threat that is utilizing neighboring Mali. Similarly, Islamists in Nigeria have spread to regional nations in another part of West Africa. Therefore, a patchwork of terrorist networks seeks to spread destabilization in many nations throughout West Africa by utilizing nations including Nigeria and Mali – with the knock-on effect being terrorist attacks in Cameroon, Niger, and other countries.
Reuters reports, “The government declared a state of emergency in several northern provinces bordering Mali in December because of deadly Islamist attacks, including in Soum, the region where Sunday’s attack took place.”
Sadly, a plethora of different Islamists terrorist groups is active in Burkina Faso and in other parts of the region. This applies to al-Qaeda affiliates, ISIS (Islamic State), Ansarul Islam, and other Takfiri groups that kill Christians and Muslims alike.
Deutsche Welle reports, “Jihadist groups regularly target Christian and moderate Muslim clerics in the north of the country. Several hundred people have lost their lives in the violence. A Catholic priest was killed in February in a raid attributed to jihadist groups, and a group of gunmen kidnapped another priest in the north in March.”
The New York Times, in relation to the regional threat, stipulates, “France, the former colonial power in West Africa, maintains 4,500 troops in the region to help battle insurgents in Niger, Chad and Mali, where it routed Al Qaeda’s affiliate from the north in 2013. French officials said the Pentagon had assured them it would keep providing intelligence, logistics and aerial refueling in what Prime Minister Édouard Philippe called “a hard fight,” while visiting troops in Mali last week.”
Overall, it is essential that Burkina Faso and other nations are supported internationally and this applies to many angles that overlap economic and military angles.
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