Burned-out homes and debris are what little is left of the village of Solhan, in north Burkina Faso. At least 132 people, including several children, were killed in a violent village raid over the weekend.
Another 40 were wounded, in one of the country’s worst militant attacks in recent years.
Prime Minister Christophe Joseph Marie Dabire spoke with survivors at a nearby hospital on Monday and visited Solhan himself. There he condemned the rise of ‘terrorist’ extremist groups.
“Security is the government’s responsibility, it’s the responsibility of security and defence forces, but it’s also the responsibility of the entire population. People need to commit to work with us, so recruitment of our young people (by extremist groups) stops.”
No group has claimed responsibility for the raid yet.
The country declared a 72-hour national mourning period in the wake of the attack.
Attacks linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State have been on the rise in West Africa this year. That’s despite the presence of thousands of United Nations peacekeepers.
The Sahel region, including Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, has been hit hardest by the violence. In just over two years, more than a million people have been displaced in Burkina Faso, where some 20 000 refugees from neighbouring Mali also reside.
Laurent Saugy on the increase in violence in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger: