Protesters Tear-gassed

Protesters Tear-gassed in Burkina Faso by Anti-Riot Police So As To Disperse Them.

On Saturday 27 November 2021, hundreds of protesters were tear-gassed by the police to disperse them during an unauthorized anti-government protest in the capital. The protesters gathering for the demonstration at a square in the centre of Ouagadougou were fired tear gas by the anti-riot police to deter them from demonstrating, with large police and security forces being deployed and all shops closed. Angry youths constructed makeshift barriers and burned tires in several neighbourhoods in an attempt to stop police movements. 

The protesters wanted to demonstrate against  President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré’s failure to quell jihadist violence that has overwhelmed the country, but city authorities have banned the gathering. One of the demonstrators, said “after seven years of failure to prevent terrorist attacks… It is time to ask the government to leave. The “incompetent administration must admit that it had failed”. An alliance of three groups called the November 27 Coalition called on the people to take to the streets on Saturday, “in a peaceful atmosphere to denounce the growing insecurity and call for the departure of Kaboré”. Moussa Konaté, a spokesperson for the group, said it plans to hold protests in the country’s second city, Bobo Dioulasso, as well as in other cities. 

But other civil society groups have distanced themselves from the protests, refusing, according to them, “to be complicit with those who want to plunge the country into chaos”. Amid the riots, the government had decided “to increase the suspension of the internet for 96 hours from Wednesday” after a four-day outage, stating that it was necessary for “security reasons”. 

Kaboré faces growing anger over the inability to stem a jihadist uprising that has engulfed neighbouring Mali. Since 2015, Groups linked to Al Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State group have plagued the landlocked Sahel nation, killing around 2,000 people and  1.4 million people displaced from their homes. On November 14, an attack saw hundreds of fighters storm a gendarmerie camp in Inata, in the north of the country, killing 53 police officers and four others. The biggest daily loss among the security forces recorded in the history of the insurgency.

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