Sunday, December 5, 2021

Abuses of Sahelian Security Forces Against Citizens in Burkina Faso Down

According to human rights groups, once common abuses by government security services against civilians in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger have declined sharply over the past year.

Boubacar, whose name was changed to protect his identity, said that last year unidentified gunmen came to his house at night, wounded his wife and son, and then killed his brother.

The next day, at the direction of doctors, he went to the capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, for treatment in order to save his son’s wounded arm from amputation.

According to him, while he was away, the security forces of Burkina Faso abducted two of his brothers. According to him, the forces were identified by the neighbors. Since then, the family does not know anything and does not know whether they are alive or dead.

Violations by security forces in the conflict in the Sahel, where Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger are fighting Islamic State and Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups, were once commonplace.

In the past year, the number of civilian casualties caused by the security forces has approached the number of victims of terrorist groups.

ACLED data on the location and events of armed conflict shows that the number of civilian casualties attributable to security forces has dropped sharply over the past year to October 1, compared to the previous year.

They fell 77% in Burkina Faso, 74% in Mali and 65% in Niger.

Rights groups say they have noticed this change too, and are speculating why it might have happened.

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“We believe there is a combination of factors,” said Corrin Dufka, West Africa director of Human Rights Watch. “First there were reports from human rights groups, journalists, and pressure from the international community.”

Other factors may be at play, analysts say, including outsourcing military activities to government-backed militias.

“During this period, the security situation in the Sahel continued to deteriorate,” said Andrew Lebovich of the European Council on Foreign Relations. “So I think another possible explanation is that the regional security forces patrol slightly less and conduct slightly fewer operations in which they actually interact with the rural population, especially.”

Burkina Faso’s army says allegations of abuse by security forces have not been proven. In a statement to Voice of America, it said respect for human rights is a major issue for the national military and is part of basic education for soldiers.

But the consequences of the atrocities are not going anywhere.

“The bad news is that there were no investigations, let alone justice and accountability,” said Dufka of Human Rights Watch.

Boubacar said that attempts to obtain justice from the same authorities, which, in his opinion, were made, were pointless.

He said that he did not see a positive outcome of the case, even if he went to court, so he decided to leave everything alone.

But he still wants to know what happened to his brothers.

Nation World News Deskhttps://nationworldnews.com
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