Burkinabe Prime Minister Albert Ouedraogo revealed, Tuesday evening, in an interview with national television, that very few terrorist attacks committed in Burkina Faso were claimed by some parties, but the government has an idea of the motives of the perpetrators of these attacks.
“We don’t have a very clear idea of who is adopting them (terrorist attacks), but we do have an idea of their motives. The different underlying features tell the motives those people are seeking,” Ouedraogo said. He added, “We know very well today who is attacking us. There are two main groups attacking us.”
The Burkinabe prime minister explained that “there is a group that is very active in the Sahel region and another that is slightly active inside the country (the Sahel, the north, the center-north, the east, Cascade, the center of the south and others)”.
Ouedraogo noted that at the beginning of the terrorist threat, the groups were mainly made up of foreigners, but today most of them are Burkinabe.
He said that “foreigners only interfere when it comes to some rather complicated private business. Today’s intelligence services have been able to classify terrorists, so we know the typical features of terrorists: the Burkinabe intelligence services have done work on the features of “terrorist” fighters on the territory of Burkina Faso .
The Prime Minister stated that, “First of all, there is the character of the religious person who defends his religion. This is the character of the violent extremist who wants to impose the caliphate with arms and blood.”
Then, there is “the character of a defender whose society has fallen victim to violations and who takes up arms to defend his society, because his and his society’s survival depends on it.”
And there is also “the adjective, who has fallen under the influence of fashion, joins the group. And there are the opportunists, especially the big bandits who have turned into terrorists and think it is an opportunity to make money from these attacks.”
Finally, there is “forced victim status, i.e. people who have been forced to join terrorist groups”.
The Burkinabe Prime Minister said that the fight against terrorism is based on the first pillars of military action that has its limits, because “the bullet of the military kills the terrorist, but it does not kill terrorism.”
And “there are many efforts being made today at the military level, to enhance the equipment of the army, and the equipment of the defense and security forces. At the budget level as well, an effort is being made to enable the forces in the field to carry out their operations.”
The other pillar concerns dialogue, as “we place great hope on dialogue. Most of those who attack us are from Burkina Faso. This allows us to say that dialogue with them is possible, as we can talk with our brothers. We have chosen to form local dialogue committees in order to restore peace.”
“These committees are made up of experienced and community leaders that even terrorists respect and are willing to listen to. For us, nothing can be compromised. What we can accept is to ensure their safety and reintegration. To date, we have formed about a dozen local dialogue committees,” Ouedraogo explained. These committees are working very well.”