Two Spanish Journalists Are Killed in Burkina Faso

The killings come amid a worsening security situation in the Sahel, especially in the border area of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, where ...


The killings come amid a worsening security situation in the Sahel, especially in the border area of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, where organized political violence has spiked since 2019, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, a nonprofit that tracks political violence and protests.

Last year was the deadliest for militant Islamist violence in the region, according to the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, a U.S. Defense Department research institution. About 4,250 people were killed, according to the think tank — a 60 percent increase over 2019 — with the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara linked to more than half of the deaths.

Instability in Chad, where the president, Idriss Déby, was killed last week, could further destabilize the region. Despite his poor human rights record, which includes repression of its own population, political opponents and journalists, Mr. Déby was a key figure in regional efforts to fight off Islamist insurgents in alliance with French and African forces. About 1,200 Chadian troops were deployed this year in the border area between Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, known as Liptako-Gourma, where Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb have made significant strides.

The Chadian military said that Mr. Déby was killed on the front lines of a battle with local Chadian rebels, who go by the name Front for Change and Concord in Chad and have trained in Libya.

In Burkina Faso, violence has fueled a fast-growing displacement crisis, with more than a million people fleeing their homes since 2019, according to the United Nations’ humanitarian affairs body. Three million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, in a country of 20 million population.

The eastern parts of the country, particularly around the city of Fada-Ngourma, near the reserve where the journalists were abducted, has for several years been a perilous area for outsiders to visit because of the armed groups operating there.

The ambush, in the reserve of Pama, occurred near Pendjari National Park, where a guide from Benin and two French tourists were abducted in 2019. The guide, Fiacre Gbédji, was killed, and the two Frenchmen were later rescued, although two French soldiers were killed in a raid to rescue them.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Two Spanish Journalists Are Killed in Burkina Faso
Two Spanish Journalists Are Killed in Burkina Faso
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