A new massacre attributed to the Islamic State has occurred in Burkina Faso

Politics 14 June, 2022

At least fifty civilians were killed in a town in the northeast, in the border area with Mali and Niger, at the epicenter of the jihadist threat.

Ussu (name changed) thanks the heavens that he is still alive, but searches in vain for traces of his relatives who disappeared after the deadly attack that struck his commune on the night of June 11-12. That evening, the town of Seitenga in northeastern Burkina Faso was surrounded by dozens of heavily armed men linked, according to several security sources, to the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (EIGS).

Around 16 or 17 o’clock, when the first shots rang out, Ussu managed to escape and helplessly watch from afar as the jihadist noose tightened.

«They blocked all exits from the city and killed everyone who tried to escape», – says a survivor, now a refugee, along with more than 3,100 other people, in the town of Dori, the capital of the province Du Seine. «Then they opened the doors of the houses one by one and executed all the men they found», – continues the 30-year-old Burkinabian, who is still in shock after this attack, from which he miraculously managed to escape. It was one of the deadliest attacks since the coup, carried out by putschist Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandago Damiba on January 24.

«At the moment, the army has found 50 bodies», – government spokesman Lionel Bilgo said at a press conference held on Monday in Telugu, the capital, before warning that this assessment «may be more serious». Several sources in the security services, both in Burkinaba and in other countries contacted by Le Monde, speak of a «massacre» that killed at least 100 people.

Approximately 15,000 residents of Seitenga, a city located in the so-called «three borders» region – between Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali and the epicenter of the jihadist threat in the Sahel – were expecting an offensive from terrorists. «On June 8, they killed three residents and stole our cattle. They told us they would come back to attack us. And so they attacked», – says Ussu. This area is strategic for armed groups: the last major city before Niger, Seitenga, is located on the edge of a road along which a very lucrative traffic of fuel, livestock and motorcycles is organized.