aljazeera.com
News|Protests
Burkina Faso police fire tear gas at anti-government protest
Military police launch tear gas canisters to disperse about 100 protesters trying to march towards downtown Ouagadougou to protest the government’s failure to quell violence.
A gendarme stands as civil organisations hold a protest calling for Burkina Faso's President Roch Kabore to resign and for the departure of French forces that patrol the country in Ouagadougou [Anne Mimault/Reuters]
27 Nov 2021
Police have fired tear gas in Burkina Faso’s capital during a demonstration against the government’s failure to stop a wave of violence by hardliner fighters.
Opponents of President Roch Kabore, namely an alliance of three groups called the November 27 Coalition, called for renewed protests on Saturday in response to a recent surge of attacks in the West African country, including one by al-Qaeda-linked fighters that killed 49 military police officers and four civilians.
But other civil society groups distanced themselves from the protests, refusing, they said, “to be complicit with those who want to push the country into chaos”.
The assault two weeks ago near the northern town of Inata was the deadliest Burkinabe security forces have suffered since a rebellion broke out in 2015, and has sparked anger against the government and the French military forces that support it.
Since then, there have been scattered protests, and demonstrators in the city of Kaya prevented the passage of a French military convoy on its way to neighbouring Niger for nearly a week.
On Saturday, military police officers launched tear gas canisters to disperse about 100 protesters who were trying to march towards downtown Ouagadougou.
After retreating to side streets, the protesters began erecting barricades and burning tyres and rubbish cans.
Al Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque said that people are furious at the government because they do not feel secure in their country any more.
“One and a half million people have been displaced because of the violence in Burkina Faso and about 60 percent of them are children,” he said.
“Two-thirds of the country is not in government control, or at least there is fighting going on between the government and armed groups over [control of the areas],” he added.
‘Incompetent’ administration
One of the protesters, 28-year-old Fabrice Sawadogo, was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying that “after seven years of failure to prevent the terrorist attacks … it is time to ask the government to go.”
The “incompetent” administration “has to admit it has failed”, he said.
The public’s angry response to the latest attacks has unnerved the authorities, who cut mobile internet access a week ago and refused to authorise Saturday’s demonstration.
The United Nations’ special envoy to West Africa said on Thursday he was concerned about the situation in Burkina Faso and warned against any military takeover, following coups in three neighbouring countries over the past year.
The political instability has undermined a regional fight against fighters linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS), who continue to gain ground across West Africa’s Sahel region.
Groups linked to the two have plagued the landlocked Sahel, killing about 2,000 people and displacing 1.4 million from their homes since 2015.
An attack on November 14 saw hundreds of fighters storm a gendarmerie camp at Inata in the north of the country, killing 53 police and four others.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES
RELATED
French army con­voy blocked by Burk­in­abe pro­test­ers reach­es Niger
Stop­ping of con­voy came amid ris­ing anger over fail­ure of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tion­al forces to con­tain es­ca­lat­ing vi­o­lence.
26 Nov 2021
Burk­i­na Faso: Death toll in se­cu­ri­ty post at­tack jumps to 53
The at­tack in Ina­ta killed 49 mil­i­tary po­lice of­fi­cers and four civil­ians, a gov­ern­ment spokesper­son said.
17 Nov 2021
‘Kill them all, don’t spare any­one’: A mas­sacre in Burk­i­na Faso
As vi­o­lence in­creas­es across the coun­try, a sur­vivor of an at­tack in Sol­han gives a har­row­ing ac­count of the blood­shed.
24 Oct 2021
MORE FROM NEWS
Twitter freezes hundreds of accounts backing Philippines’ Marcos
UN calls for ‘prompt’ probe into Saudi-led air raids in Yemen
Airbus cancels $6bn contract with Qatar Airways after paint fight
What’s happened at AFCON so far and what’s in store?
MOST READ
Pfizer, Moderna boosters up to 90% effective against Omicron: CDC
US suspends flights by China carriers after Beijing COVID move
US in talks with Qatar over supplying LNG to EU: Reports
‘I wanted to die’: Abused migrant women in Lebanon face detention
Follow Al Jazeera English:
© 2022 Al Jazeera Media Network
 
 
You rely on Al Jazeera for truth and transparency
We understand that your online privacy is very important and consenting to our collection of some personal information takes great trust. We ask for this consent because it allows Al Jazeera to provide an experience that truly gives a voice to the voiceless. You have the option to decline the cookies we automatically place on your browser but allowing Al Jazeera and our trusted partners to use cookies or similar technologies helps us improve our content and offerings to you. You can change your privacy preferences at any time by selecting ‘Cookie preferences’ at the bottom of your screen.To learn more, please view our Cookie Policy.