Protests took place in Burkina Faso amidst the strengthening of the Wagner PMC

Several thousand people demonstrated Wednesday in Diapag, in eastern Burkina Faso, to demand “increased security” following a deadly attack on a neighboring town, whose death toll remains unknown. Source: BNN

“We too have the right to life” and “What is our fault for being abandoned?” could be seen on many of the placards carried by protesters marching through the streets of Diapaga, a town in Tapoa province.

Locals and a security source say that on Sunday, a group of people thought to be jihadists attacked the town of Partiaga in that province and killed several people.The region’s governor, Hubert Yameogo, said an assessment would be made “as soon as possible.”

According to him, “terrorists cowardly attacked civilians, looted, and set material values on fire”.

Residents claim that the Burkinabe military left the town before the attack. Wednesday’s demonstration is aimed at “condemning the authorities inaction during the Partiaga tragedy and demanding protection and greater security for all,” according to Issa Lankoande, one of the protesters.

“We cannot be abandoned to the hordes of terrorists because we are citizens of Burkina Faso,” he said.

Since the beginning of the year, jihadist violence in Burkina Faso has been getting worse, with dozens of soldiers and civilians being killed almost every week.The army reported a “preliminary death toll” of 51 last week in an ambush on Feb. 17 in the far north of the country that targeted soldiers.

The protests came amid the growing influence of the Wagner PMC in the region. The military junta was repeatedly suspected of being willing to cooperate with Russian mercenaries after the expulsion of the French military. However, the military has denied any ties with the PMCs. Meanwhile, the Minister of Mines of Burkina Faso, Simon-Pierre Boussim, has acknowledged that a subsidiary of the Russian gold mining company Nordgold received a concession for a deposit in the central district of Samatenga.

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