from ISSOUF TRAORE in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
OUAGADOUGOU, (CAJ News) – HUMAN rights groups have demanded investigations after the discovery of mass graves containing at least 180 bodies in the north of Burkina Faso.
Government security forces’ involvement in the extrajudicial mass killings has not been ruled out.
It is alleged the bodies were buried between November 2019 and June 2020 in the town of Djibo.
Other bodies have been discovered unburied.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the government to prosecute all those responsible for the mass murder.
“Burkina Faso authorities should urgently disclose who made Djibo a site for summary executions,” said Corinne Dufka , West Africa director at HRW.
It proposed that the United Nations or other neutral international forensic experts must intervene and help preserve and analyze evidence in mass graves.
There are also calls for authorities to return the bodies of people who have been buried in graves or left unburied to their families.
It is believed the victims are of the Fulani or Peul ethnicities meted their deaths.
They are largely nomadic herdsmen.
The group has been involved in clashes over natural resources with villagers.
However, Burkina Faso has seen an increase in Islamist militancy, prompting the government to deploy the army.
Groups allied with Al-Qaeda are behind the insurgency.
The military has been accused of violations during anti-terror operations.
– CAJ News