an American killed by security forces on Saturday the day before the presidential election

Burkinabé soldiers, in February 2020 (illustration). – Cheikh AT Sy / AP

While the presidential election is being held this Sunday, the tension is at its height in Burkina Faso. An American citizen was killed on Saturday by security forces in front of a military camp in Ouagadougou, according to concordant security and diplomatic sources.

“Refusal to comply”

“It’s a regrettable accident […] this American citizen was strolling in front of “the Baba Sy military camp, on the southern outskirts of Ouagadougou, and his” actions seemed suspicious “, explained a high-ranking Burkinabe security source. “Faced with his refusal to comply, followed by an attempted flight, [les soldats] fired warning shots that hit him at the members [inférieurs]. He was immediately evacuated to a health center where he unfortunately passed away, ”continued this source. “We can confirm the death of an American citizen in Ouagadougou,” confirmed a source from the American embassy in Burkina Faso, without further details.

The death of this American came the day before the presidential election in Burkina Faso, which takes place as the country falls prey to incessant attacks jihadists who have killed at least 1,200 people since 2015. The situation is particularly tense around the camps and military bases often targeted by jihadists in the provinces but also once in Ouagadougou. On March 2, 2018, simultaneous attacks targeting the army staff in the capital and the French embassy claimed the lives of eight staff members.

Part of the territory deprived of election

The number of people displaced by these attacks has increased exponentially in two years to reach one million, or 5% of the population, entire swathes of the territory beyond state control. Thus, the election will not be able to be held in at least a fifth of the territory, the fear of jihadist attacks on voting day being on everyone’s minds.

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