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Burkina Faso

This photograph taken on December 7, 2021 shows a machine gun over the Menaka camp in Mali for the new Task Force Takuba, a multinational military mission in the troubled Sahel region.
This photograph taken on December 7, 2021 shows a machine gun over the Menaka camp in Mali for the new Task Force Takuba, a multinational military mission in the troubled Sahel region.

Militarizing the Sahel Won’t Make Europe More Secure

The EU’s obsession with security in the Sahel is a reflection of its own anxieties—and a betrayal of its values.

Uniformed soldiers wearing surgical face masks and holding weapons stand at attention.
Uniformed soldiers wearing surgical face masks and holding weapons stand at attention.

U.S. Security Assistance to Burkina Faso Laid the Groundwork for a Coup

Since 2009, the United States has supported the country’s military with funding, weapons, and training.

Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, president of the Economic Community of West African States, (right) makes his way to the airport after addressing the press in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on Jan. 31.
Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, president of the Economic Community of West African States, (right) makes his way to the airport after addressing the press in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on Jan. 31.

Africa Responds to Burkina Faso’s Coup

Regional organizations like the African Union and ECOWAS suspended the country’s ruling junta. But do they have double standards when it comes to democracy?

A protester walks a camel painted in the colors of the French flag during a mass demonstration to protest sanctions imposed on Mali by the Economic Community of West African States in Bamako, Mali, on Jan. 14.
A protester walks a camel painted in the colors of the French flag during a mass demonstration to protest sanctions imposed on Mali by the Economic Community of West African States in Bamako, Mali, on Jan. 14.

Mali’s Military Doubles Down as Junta Ousts Burkina Faso’s President

West Africa is rocked by yet another coup as the military seizes power in Ouagadougou and holds onto control in Bamako.

Military officials stand by signs with names of Burkinabe soldiers killed in the attack on a gendarmerie camp at Inata, Burkina Faso, at Gounghin Cemetery in Ouagadougou on Nov. 23.
Military officials stand by signs with names of Burkinabe soldiers killed in the attack on a gendarmerie camp at Inata, Burkina Faso, at Gounghin Cemetery in Ouagadougou on Nov. 23.

Violence Spreads in the Sahel

Burkina Faso’s government resigns amid protests and the military’s failure to counter Islamists.

France’s military drawdown in the Sahel is announced.
France’s military drawdown in the Sahel is announced.

France Bids Adieu to Its Military Mission in West Africa

But banishing the neocolonial approach is easier said than done.

Members of the Koglweogo, a self-defense militia, attend an annual gathering in Siguinvousé, Burkina Faso, on Feb 14.
Members of the Koglweogo, a self-defense militia, attend an annual gathering in Siguinvousé, Burkina Faso, on Feb 14.

Biden’s Strategy in the Sahel Looks a Lot Like Trump’s

U.S. diplomacy is back in West Africa—but the United States is also back to its old counterterrorism playbook.

The French Army patrols a rural area in northern Burkina Faso on Nov. 14, 2019.
The French Army patrols a rural area in northern Burkina Faso on Nov. 14, 2019.

France and the United States Are Making West Africa’s Security Situation Worse

France’s unilateralism and the United States’ wavering are destabilizing the Sahel—and creating an opening for Russia and China.

Malian Air Force deputy chief of staff Ismael Wague speaks during a press conference in Kati, Mali on August 19.
Malian Air Force deputy chief of staff Ismael Wague speaks during a press conference in Kati, Mali on August 19.

Mali Needs a Marshall Plan, Not a Military Regime

American, French, and West African leaders must pressure the army to stand down and form an interim government, before a power vacuum and violent extremism threaten the entire region.

A group of migrant men, mainly from Niger and Nigeria, sit in the back of a pickup truck during a journey across northern Niger toward the Libyan border post of Qatrun on Jan. 15.
A group of migrant men, mainly from Niger and Nigeria, sit in the back of a pickup truck during a journey across northern Niger toward the Libyan border post of Qatrun on Jan. 15.

2020 Could be Niger’s Year of Reckoning

The country is home to one of the largest deployments of U.S. military personnel in Africa and is a linchpin of regional stability—but the coming year could throw all that into turmoil.

Soldiers carry the coffin of one of the victims during the funeral ceremony of the seven members of the security forces killed after their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in eastern Burkina Faso, on Aug. 31, 2018 in Ouagadougou. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)
Soldiers carry the coffin of one of the victims during the funeral ceremony of the seven members of the security forces killed after their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in eastern Burkina Faso, on Aug. 31, 2018 in Ouagadougou. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

Terrorism Threatens a Former Oasis of Stability in West Africa

Burkina Faso managed to avoid the violence that plagued its neighbors, but a combination of poverty, unstable neighbors, and weak security forces has opened the door for extremists.

Burkina Faso troops stand guard outside Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou on January 18, 2016 following a jihadist attack by Al-Qaeda-linked gunmen late on January 15. 
Security forces are hunting for any possible surviving gunmen from the attack claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) that left at least 30 people dead and showed the expanding reach of regional jihadists in west Africa. / AFP / ISSOUF SANOGO        (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
Burkina Faso troops stand guard outside Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou on January 18, 2016 following a jihadist attack by Al-Qaeda-linked gunmen late on January 15. Security forces are hunting for any possible surviving gunmen from the attack claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) that left at least 30 people dead and showed the expanding reach of regional jihadists in west Africa. / AFP / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)

The Drone War Goes Awry in Africa

Al Qaeda's attack on Burkina Faso proves that "decapitating" a terror group doesn't always change it for the better.

GettyImages-488727716 crop
GettyImages-488727716 crop

Why This Week’s Coup in Burkina Faso Might Not Last

Forces close to the deposed former president have seized power — but the country's civil society is rising to its feet.

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