Fri, 14 Aug 2020

Burkina Faso frees prisoners to stem virus spread

Increased reports of abuses by soldiers in the Sahel has prompted warnings from the United States, European Union and Sahel leaders. On Thursday, the US State Department said abuses by state security forces must be addressed or its assistance could be at risk.

Burkina Faso has been battling militant groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State since 2017. Hundreds of civilians have been killed and almost a million displaced by the conflict, which is also affecting neighbours Niger and Mali.

The government said militants were seeking to sow confusion by staging attacks with stolen army uniforms and equipment, which meant civilians have often been unable to tell the difference between Burkinabe troops and jihadists.

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