On patrol in northern Burkina Faso, four French soldiers were injured, one seriously, after an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded as their vehicle passed, according to an announcement made by the French general staff. this Tuesday, January 19.
The French general staff clarified that the four soldiers affected belonged to a “Barkhane unit on a reconnaissance mission” and that the “all-terrain vehicle exploded on an IED at the exit of Ouahigouya airport” in Burkina Faso.
All the soldiers injured by this attack were evacuated to Gao (Mali) and could be repatriated to France if necessary, according to the same source from the French military command.
No details could be provided concerning the origin of the explosive device since the jihadists of the GSIM (affiliated with Al-Qaeda) and those of the EIGS (linked to the Islamic State) are used to frequenting this area. specific to the Sahel.
Political and military tensions
Present in Mali since 2014, the anti-jihadist force Barkhane has faced significant political and military pressure in recent weeks. In question: the debate linked to the reorganization of the tricolor troops in the country and the accusations launched against Mali about the supposed recourse of the nation to the services of the group of Russian mercenaries Wagner.
Last week, the power in place in Mali since the August 2020 putsch took the decision to close its borders to members of the Organization of West African States (ECOWAS). This decision came in reaction to a similar decision taken by ECOWAS a few days earlier to sanction the desire of the ruling junta to remain at the head of the nation for the next few years without organizing elections.
At the end of December, a terrorist attack killed 41 people in Burkina Faso. The country has totaled 2,000 deaths in six years and more than 1.5 million people have had to leave their homes due to terrorist attacks.