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In Burkina Faso, two suspected jihadists indicted after Solhan attack

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Two suspected jihadists accused of playing a key role in the attack on the village of Solhan, which left at least 132 dead on the night of June 4 to 5, have been indicted for “terrorism”, announced on Tuesday. Burkina Faso prosecutor.

Two suspected jihadists, including the “head of a terrorist base”, accused of playing a key role in the attack on the village of Solhan, in northeastern Burkina Faso, which left at least 132 dead, have been indicted for “terrorism”, the Burkinabè justice indicated on Tuesday (June 29th).

“After the terrorist attack perpetrated in Solhan, an investigation (…) resulted in the presentation on June 25 to the anti-terrorism section of our prosecutor’s office of two individuals: Mano Tidjani alias Ali and Woba Dikouré”, indicates a press release from Émile Zerbo, prosecutor of Burkina.

Aged 28 and of Burkinabè nationality, they were “indicted and placed under arrest warrant” after the opening of a judicial investigation against them for “criminal association, assassinations, attempted assassinations, thefts, detention illegal firearm and ammunition, voluntary degradation of movable and immovable property, all offenses related to terrorism “, specifies the text.

Looting as a source of funding

On the night of June 4 to 5, armed men – including “young people aged 12 to 14” according to the authorities – attacked the village of Solhan in the northeast, killing at least 132 people according to the government, 160 according to local sources.

This massacre, which caused great emotion, constitutes the deadliest attack in Burkina Faso since the start of jihadist violence in 2015.

“The investigation shows” that this attack “was decided on May 21 (…) with the aim of looting property, looting being the main source of funding for the group to which the two indicted belong”, according to the prosecutor.

Émile Zerbo confirms that the two suspected jihadists are members of a component of the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), affiliated with Al-Qaeda and which is rife in several countries of the Sahel.

Mano Tidjani alias “Ali” is the head of a “terrorist base” located in a forest of Boundoré (north) while Woba Dikouré is a “simple fighter”, according to the press release.

Their group is intervening in Burkina Faso with “incursions into the Nigerien and Beninese territories”, and is responsible “for previous attacks in Solhan and Sebba, in Boundoré and Koholoko on the border with Niger,” he adds.

The investigation also identified this group as the one that carried out the attack on November 6, 2019 on the Ouragou-Boungou axis (south-east) against a mining convoy, which killed at least 37 people.

“Children killing children”

At the same time, several members of the UN Security Council called on Monday to combat the use of children in wars, while government spokesman Ousséni Tamboura spoke last week about the participation of adolescents in the war. Solhan’s attack.

“These children are often no bigger than the weapons they carry,” said US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, during a video conference of heads of state on the subject of children in the They are taught to commit war crimes before they even know how to count. To cite just one example, earlier this month, in the village of Solhan in the Sahel region, a non-state armed group killed more than 130 civilians, many of them children. This armed group? Mainly 12-14 year olds. Children killing children. “

Without saying that the children had constituted the major part of the attackers as mentioned by Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Ousséni Tamboura had specified that this information came from suspects arrested a few days before the attack.

President-in-office of the Security Council and at the origin of the organization of its session on Monday, Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia, also protested against the use of children in wars. She spoke of a little Central African girl, Graciela, who was orphaned and kidnapped by an armed group in 2014.

“She had no choice but to be part of it, to cook and learn to fight,” lamented Kersti Kaljulaid, indicating that her story had finally ended well and that she was able ” start a new life”.

In 2020, “the situation of children in armed conflict was marked by a high and sustained number of serious violations,” she continued. And the Covid-19 pandemic has not helped this “easy target”.

According to the latest report by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, more than 26,000 serious violations against children have been recorded, a sharp increase compared to 2019.

With AFP

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