Burkina Faso’s Military Leader Denies Mutiny Following Deadly Insurgent Attack

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June 20 (Reuters) – Burkina Faso’s military leader, Ibrahim Traore, appeared on national television on Thursday to deny rumors of a mutiny within the army following an al Qaeda-linked insurgent attack that killed over 100 soldiers near the Niger border.

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Addressing the nation for the first time since the assault, Traore did not comment on the al Qaeda-linked group’s claim of responsibility but stated that Burkina Faso had launched a retaliatory operation and sent reinforcement troops.

Speculation about Traore’s safety arose after gunfire was reported near the presidency, and a rocket shell landed close to the state-run RTB Television headquarters in Ouagadougou on June 12. “It’s absolutely not the case. We are here,” Traore assured people gathered in front of RTB’s headquarters, dismissing the mutiny allegations. He explained that the rocket was mistakenly fired by those protecting the TV channel’s staff, resulting in injuries but no fatalities.

In the past week, planes carrying Russian reinforcements and some Malian officials were sent to bolster Traore’s security after discussions between the two countries’ juntas, according to sources familiar with the talks. This highlights the close ties and growing reliance on Russia for security support by the junta-led states in West Africa, amidst political instability and Islamist insurgencies.

A Reuters analysis of flight tracking data on FlightRadar24 revealed that a Russian-registered cargo plane made seven trips to Ouagadougou from Gao and Bamako in Mali between June 15 and June 18. Traore mentioned that six Russian planes had transported U.N. equipment from Gao following the conclusion of a mission there. The U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Mansila area attack, one of the deadliest on Burkina Faso’s army, was claimed by the Al Qaeda-affiliated Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM). According to the SITE Intelligence Group, a JNIM statement said, “fighters stormed a military post in the town, where they killed 107 soldiers and took control of the site.”

By Naija247news
By Naija247newshttps://www.naija247news.com/
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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