The African Union Commission’s Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat has described the attack on civilians in Burkina Faso in which 132 people were killed on Friday as war crimes. He has called for prompt and vigorous regional and international action against the perpetrators.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack described by the government as an act of terrorism.

Attacks by militant groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State in West Africa’s Sahel region have risen sharply since the start of 2021, particularly in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

Laurent Saugy on the increase in violence in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger:

This is the deadliest terrorist attack in Burkina Faso’s history, according to the government. In a statement, the government said the attackers struck a village on the border with Niger killing civilians and burning homes and a market.

The government has now declared three days of national mourning.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has expressed his outrage at the attack, while Mahamat expressed his indignation and condemned the attack terming it barbarism and war crimes.

The violence has displaced over a million people in two years.

This weekend’s attack pushes to 500 the number of people killed by militants in the Sahel region since the beginning of 2021.