Jihadist-hit Burkina extends state of emergency by six months

13 May 2023 10:41pm
Image for illustrative purposes only. - FILE PIX
Image for illustrative purposes only. - FILE PIX

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso - Jihadist-hit Burkina Faso said Saturday it had extended a state of emergency in place in eight of the country's 13 regions since the nd of March by six months.

The bill, adopted unanimously by the interim parliament on Friday, will be in effect through to October 29.

It "aims to strengthen and consolidate the fight against the insecurity and to give more opportunities and resources" to security forces, Justice Minister Bibata Nebie Ouedraogo said.

The government installed the state of emergency in March in areas most affected by jihadist attacks.

The state of emergency gives security forces to conduct searches of homes, day or night, and restricts some fundamental freedoms such as the freedom of movement and assembly.

In mid-April, Burkina Faso's military junta also declared a "general mobilisation" to combat a string of bloody attacks blamed on jihadists.

Burkina Faso, which saw two military coups in 2022, has been battling a jihadist insurgency that crossed from Mali in 2015.

Captain Ibrahim Traore, Burkina's transitional president who staged the most recent coup on September 30, has set a goal of recapturing 40 percent of the country's territory, which is controlled by jihadists affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

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The violence has seen more than 10,000 killed - both civilians and military - according to the NGOs, and displaced some two million people. - AFP