The president of the transition in Burkina Faso, Captain Ibrahim Traoré, called on Thursday May 4 to avoid "hasty conclusions" accusing the army of being responsible for the massacre of Karma (north) committed on April 20 by men in uniforms military.
“Why accuse [the army] directly because it is said that they [the attackers] came with pick-ups and army uniforms? ", he raised during an interview on Burkinabe public television, recalling that "the army has lost armored vehicles, pick-ups" during the numerous attacks committed by jihadists in the country. "Knowing this, we cannot immediately accuse the Defense and Security Forces [...] We are waiting for the investigators to do their job," he continued. The Ouahigouya prosecutor has opened an investigation.
On April 20, 136 people, including 50 women and 21 children, were killed in Karma, a village 15 km from Ouahigouya, according to an official report. Survivors and witnesses claimed that the massacre was committed "by people wearing the uniforms of our national armed forces".
Elections in June 2024
During the television interview, Captain Traoré - who came to power by a coup in September 2022 - also denounced the actions of a "coalition against Burkina Faso", engaged in the fight against jihadist violence. "Many of these countries have categorically refused to sell us equipment," he said.
More than three months after calling for the departure of the French army, the president claimed to have turned to "strategic allies" such as Russia and Turkey. "We will continue to acquire major means with these countries" and "we will cooperate with those who wish to help us in this war" against the jihadists, he assured, also welcoming cooperation with North Korea for the acquisition of military equipment.
The president also said he wanted to organize elections "as soon as possible", in June 2024.
Burkina Faso, the scene of two military coups in 2022, has been caught since 2015 in a spiral of jihadist violence that appeared in Mali and Niger a few years earlier and which has spread beyond their borders. The violence has left more than 10,000 dead (civilian and military) over the past eight years, according to NGOs, and some 2 million displaced.