The army of Burkina Faso massacred 223 peasants: Who is President Ibrahim Traore?

In a report published today, the international humanitarian organization Human Rights Watch (HRV) accused the Burkina Faso army of massacring 223 civilians, including 56 children

by Sededin Dedovic
The army of Burkina Faso massacred 223 peasants: Who is President Ibrahim Traore?
© africanews / Youtube channel

The international humanitarian organization for monitoring human rights, Human Rights Watch (HRW), in its report published today, accused the Burkina Faso army of massacring 223 civilians, including 56 children, in two villages in February, as reported by the BBC.

. The report said the army killed 179 civilians in the village of Soro and another 44 in the nearby village of Nondin, and survivors of the attacks told HRW that a military convoy carrying over 100 soldiers stormed into the village of Nondin in about half an hour.

after Islamist insurgents were spotted nearby. According to their testimonies, the soldiers went door to door, forcing residents from their homes, and then divided them into groups and opened fire on them. A classic execution, something we saw after the Second World War in dictatorial communist systems where the "party" would get rid of the unworthy in that way.

Burkina Faso army © Reuters / Youtube channel

But that was not all, an hour later they broke into the village of Soro, about five kilometers away, where the murders were repeated in an identical manner. In both villages, soldiers shot at those who tried to hide or run away, witnesses said.

It was scary, people in their underwear ran out of the house while they were armed The mass killings are likely retaliation by the military, which has accused local residents of aiding armed Islamist fighters. The massacre took place after rebels attacked a military camp.

The surviving witness said that before the shooting, the soldiers accused them of not cooperating and not informing them about the movement of Islamist fighters. Since a military coup in 2022, Burkina Faso has been ruled by a military junta, which has vowed to end violence by Islamist rebels after taking power.

However, the conflict has continued to escalate, with estimates suggesting that at least a third of Burkina Faso is controlled by jihadist groups.

Burkina Fasos coup leader Ibrahim Traore© Reuters / YOutube channel

International and human rights groups, including the European Union and the United Nations, have accused Burkina Faso of serious human rights violations in the fight against the rebels, including indiscriminate killings and the enforced disappearance of dozens of civilians.

At the head of Burkina Faso is currently the youngest head of state in the world

Ibrahim Traore, born in 1988, has been at the head of the country in West Africa since September 30, 2022, when the junta leader Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba was overthrown.

Ibrahim Traore’s Speech In Russia That shook The Internet! © TR MEDIA / Youtube channel

Traore was born in Bondokuj. After finishing elementary school, he received his secondary education in the town of Bobo Dijulaso, where he gained a reputation as a "quiet" and "very talented man".

He studied at the University of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, and was part of the Association of Muslim Students. He joined the army in 2009 and very quickly started to progress. He was first sent to Morocco for anti-aircraft training and then transferred to an infantry unit in Kaya, a city in northern Burkina Faso.Traore was promoted to colonel in 2014, after which he became part of MINUSMA, the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali.

Four years later, he was singled out as one of the peacekeeping soldiers who "showed courage" during a rebel attack in the Tombokto region. After the engagement in Mali, he returns to his homeland, where he participates in operations against the escalation of the jihadist insurgency.

He will receive the rank of captain in 2020. Traore was part of a group of officers who supported the coup in January 2022 and the coming to power of a military junta called the "Patriotic Movement for Protection and Reconstruction".

From March of that year, he was the head of the artillery regiment in Kaja. Many who supported the coup became dissatisfied with the performance of Paul-Henri Sandaog Damiba, the junta leader, in the fight against the jihadists.

Traore later claimed that he, along with officers, tried to convince Damiba to commit to the jihadist insurgency, but that he eventually agreed to be ousted because "his ambitions were taking us away from our core mission." The main role in the overthrow of the military junta was played by young officers who directly participated in the fight against the rebels.

When the coup against the junta leader was launched on September 30, 2022, Traore still held the rank of captain. The operation was carried out with the help of the special unit "Cobra", for which some claim that Traore was a member of them at some point, while other sources dispute this.

After the overthrow of Damiba, Traore declared himself the new leader of the "Patriotic Movement for Protection and Reconstruction". Already on October 6, he assumed the position of interim president, as head of state and supreme commander of the armed forces. He promised that democratic elections will be held in Burkina Faso in July 2024.