Students in Burkina Faso fear extremists more than COVID-19
Balkissa Barro, 10, center, walks to school with friends in the Burkina Faso village of Dori Tuesday Oct. 20, 2020. In Burkina Faso, worries over the COVID-19 pandemic come second to threats of attacks by extremists linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group. At Wendou school, 1,400 children use 14 hand-washing stations and no one has masks, said Dofiko Kone, the headmaster. Although they’ve now returned to class, school meals haven’t yet started and the little support he gets from aid groups is not enough to sustain them. “The children go to school but when they come back ... there is no food, there is no place to sleep,” he said.
Burkina Faso president Roch Marc Christian Kabore re-elected
President Roch Marc Christian Kabore addresses supporters in Ouagadougou after learning he will serve another five years as Burkina Faso's president, according to provisional results announced by the National Independent Electoral Commission Thursday Nov 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Sophie Garcia)OUAGADOUGOU – Roch Marc Christian Kabore will serve another five years as Burkina Faso’s president, according to provisional results announced by the National Independent Electoral Commission on Thursday. The election commission president said final results should be out Saturday, which then must be verified by the constitutional court. More than 900 polling stations expected to open didn’t, impacting nearly 600,000 registered voters, according to the electoral commission. As Kabore’s supporters celebrated, opposition supporters said they’ll accept the results but expect the opposition to hold the ruling party accountable.
Burkina Faso votes amid ongoing extremist violence, threats
Voters went to the polls in Burkina Faso on Sunday for the elections that have been marred by ongoing extremist violence in this landlocked West African nation. “The reasons are mainly security and also it’s impossible to find someone to manage the polling stations,” Barry said. Burkina Faso experts say the violence and intimidation show how limited the authorities’ control and legitimacy really are. It’s about the development of Burkina Faso, it’s about peace in our country, so it’s important that each Burkinabe vote,” he said. ___AP reporter Arsene Kabore in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, contributed to this report.
Burkina Faso to vote amid escalating violence
Supporters of Burkina Faso President Roch Kabore attend a campaign rally in Bobo-Dioulasso Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. Burkina Faso will go to the polls on Nov. 22, 2020, to vote in presidential and legislative elections marred by ongoing violence. (AP Photo/Sam Mednick)OUAGADOUGOU – Burkina Faso will vote in presidential and legislative elections on Sunday, amid escalating extremist violence that’s killed more than 2,000 people this year and displaced some one million people from their homes. Komboigo told the AP that Burkina Faso was in a “catastrophe” and blamed Kabore for being unwilling to pursue a more diplomatic approach with the jihadists. Kabore is expected to be re-elected and needs more than 50% of the vote to win in the first round.
At UN, Africa urges fiscal help against virus 'apocalypse'
In a separate briefing Thursday, a World Health Organization official said just 51% of health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa have basic water services. Health experts say Africa has fared far better than the dire predictions made early in the pandemic. Spurred by this year's turmoil over racial injustice and inequality, African nations again demanded a permanent seat on the U.N.'s most powerful body, the Security Council — or even two. The council reflects a world order of 75 years ago that few people in Africa recognize, some said. “Unfortunately," he said, “less than two months later, a fifth horseman of the apocalypse, very destructive, the coronavirus, has appeared.”
Burkina Faso army blamed for extrajudicial torture, deaths
Of the dozen men taken from Burkina Fasos eastern town of Tawalbougou in late June on suspicion of supporting Islamic extremist rebels, only five survived, they said. Such accusations of extrajudicial killings, torture and unlawful detention by Burkina Fasos military are mounting, as the ill-equipped and under-trained army scrambles to stem the spread of jihadist violence thats ravaging the country. The allegations of rights abuses highlight the instability caused by the spread of extremist violence in Burkina Faso and the surrounding countries of West Africa's Sahel region. Many of the alleged victims of army abuse in Burkina Faso, like the five interviewed by AP, come from the Peuhl ethnic group, also known as the Fulani. Rights groups say the army is tarnishing its reputation and eroding trust among a desperate population that is facing attacks on multiple fronts.