Burkina Faso massacre by suspected Islamists: Benin and Togo

Burkina Faso massacre by suspected IslamistsBenin and Togo

Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker 

Modern Tokyo Times

Suspected Islamists have killed approximately 50 civilians in Burkina Faso. It remains unclear who the culprits are. However, with various Islamist groups loyal to ISIS (Islamic State – IS) and al-Qaeda ravaging parts of Burkina Faso, it seems likely that either group was behind the latest massacre of civilians. 

The latest massacre took place near the borders of Benin and Togo. It is known that civilians were on their way to a nearby commune when terrorists began killing people at random in yet another brutal attack.

Reuters reports, “It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack on Wednesday against residents of the rural commune of Madjoari, said Colonel Hubert Yameogo, the governor of the East Region.”

Benin and Toga are worried that Islamist networks are now intent on spreading terrorism to their respective nations. Only recently, eight members of the armed forces of Togo were killed. Therefore, with Islamists butchering in the Lake Chad Region, West Africa, and the Sahel – it seems that Benin and Toga are set to become engulfed by the same Islamist forces.

Terrorist attacks in the last ten days have killed over 110 people – civilians and soldiers. These terrorist attacks by various Islamist groups have occurred in four different regions of Burkina Faso. Therefore, Islamist terrorism is threatening the central state.

Modern Ghana reports, “The West Africa Center for Counter Extremism (WACCE) says the terrorist attack in neighboring Togo that claimed the lives of eight soldiers should be a wake-up call to all security agencies in Ghana.”

In December, two soldiers in Benin were killed by Islamists near the troubled border area with Burkina Faso. Since then, other terrorist attacks have taken place. 

The Vice President of Benin, Mariam Chabi Talata, said, “There is no longer any doubt, Benin is at war against terrorism.” 

Earlier this year, Modern Tokyo Times reported, “The military of Burkina Faso under Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba ousted the leader after a mutiny occurred. President Roch Marc Kabore was overthrown after being blamed for endangering the territorial integrity of Burkina Faso. This concerns the growing crisis related to Sunni Islamic terrorism in vast parts of this country.”

Lt-Col Damiba said, “In its history, our country has rarely been confronted with adversity. But more than six years now – our people have been living under the yoke of an enemy that succeeded.”

The Jamestown Foundation (Jacob Zenn) reported in 2019, “Geographically, Burkina Faso is the only country that borders all of the following coastal West African countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, and Benin. Therefore, those countries’ border security inevitably depends on Burkina Faso. A sampling of recent attacks in southern Burkina Faso demonstrates that jihadists in the country are gradually becoming stronger and moving closer towards those countries’ northern borders.”

Terrorism thrives in countless nations throughout the region – from Nigeria in West Africa to Libya in North Africa – from Burkina Faso to Mali – and now Benin and Togo fear the same after recent terrorist developments. Hence, the fear expressed by Jacob Zenn is now happening in Benin and Togo – even if in its infancy.

Regional nations and the international community need to focus on this vast region before the crisis creates failed states. If not, the violence will unleash greater poverty, food insecurity, and mass immigration – along with vast numbers being killed by Islamist forces. 

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