The Burkinabe Minister of Defense, Colonel Kassoum Coulibaly, denounced, Wednesday, May 3, the actions of an “international coalition against Burkina Faso”, plagued by jihadist violence, and “violations of its airspace”.

During a meeting in Ouagadougou with trade unions and civil society organizations, Colonel Coulibaly considered that this “international coalition” – whose members he did not name – and the “violations” of the airspace burkinabé were linked to the rapprochement made by his country with Russia since the seizure of power by Captain Ibrahim Traoré during a military coup on September 30, 2022.

“A lot of people think it’s the Russians who are guiding us,” but “Burkinabe people are not children,” he said, claiming that “Russia doesn’t dictate any laws to us” and “give us nothing.” , we struggle with Burkinabe contributions to the war effort.”

As Captain Traoré had already done, he denied the presence in Burkina Faso of mercenaries from the Russian group Wagner, present in other African countries. “There is no Wagner here,” he said, pointing out that his country “only asks for means to be sent to it”: “We don’t need a single soldier to be sent to us. abroad, we have our VDPs”, the Volunteers for the Defense of the Fatherland, civilian auxiliaries of the army.


At the same meeting, the director of military justice of Burkina Faso, the magistrate and colonel François Yameogo, admitted that “136 bodies” had been buried last week in Karma (north) after a massacre perpetrated by men in uniforms soldiers, according to testimonies. Since this massacre, on April 20, the official toll reported “sixty” deaths, while human rights organizations announced 136 deaths in Karma (including 50 women and 21 children) as well as eleven deaths in d other nearby villages.

NGOs “point the finger at the responsibility” of the Burkinabe army “in the murders” and the prosecutor of Ouahigouya (north) has opened an investigation “with a view to clarifying the facts and arresting all those involved”. “To date, twelve people have already been heard, including victims, as part of the investigation,” said Colonel Yameogo.

According to a statement made by the national intelligence agency during the meeting, “disorganized” by the various land and air operations carried out by the Burkinabe armed forces, “the terrorists show perfidy by sometimes committing abuses dressed in military uniforms of the Burkina”. 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.