Burkina Faso Critic Arouna Loure Abducted and Conscribed by Military Junta


DAKAR, July 2 (Reuters) – Arouna Loure, a vocal critic of Burkina Faso’s ruling military junta, was forcibly conscripted into military service last year. The anesthesiologist received a conscription order on Sept. 7, requesting he start a month of service just four days later. The order, seen by Reuters, did not specify a date or location. On Sept. 13, two armed men abducted Loure from a hospital in Ouagadougou, forcing him into a 4×4 and driving him to a military camp near Kaya, he told Reuters.

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Loure, 38, had publicly denounced the violence linked to Burkina Faso’s nearly decade-long battle against Islamist insurgents. His abduction garnered significant attention in local media, highlighting a pattern of forced disappearances of activists, journalists, rights defenders, and other critics of the military government.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have accused Burkina Faso’s junta of kidnapping and conscripting its critics. Despite these allegations, authorities have not publicly responded, and the junta did not reply to Reuters’ requests for comment.

Loure was released after three months of forced military service, having been conscripted alongside eight other government critics and activists at the Kaya camp. “They want to silence us,” Loure told Reuters in a March interview. “These conscriptions are arbitrary and punitive.”

Reuters verified 19 abductions since March 2023 through interviews with civil society groups, relatives, colleagues, and released victims. Four more cases were identified through public statements from family members, civil society groups, and political parties. Most of those abducted remain unaccounted for.

Four victims who spoke to Reuters after their release described being abducted by armed police or military officials. They recounted a violent system of intimidation involving forced military service and torture. Junta spokesman Jean-Emmanuel Ouedraogo, Interior Minister Emile Zerbo, State Minister Bassolma Bazie, and army spokesman Isidore Noël did not respond to requests for comment.

At the start of June, Burkina Faso’s national order of doctors reported that Loure had gone missing again. Two​⬤

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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