In another horrible act of terrorism, fourteen people were murdered in an attack on a Protestant church this past Sunday in the West African nation of Burkina Faso.
At least 14 people including teenagers have been shot dead at a church in Burkina Faso during Sunday mass.
Several other people were wounded in the attack which took place in the village of Foutouri in the Est region of the country.
The identity of the gunmen is not yet clear but the area has come under attack over the past year from suspected jihadist groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State.
Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kabore tweeted: “I condemn the barbaric attack against the Protestant Church of Hantoukoura in the department of Foutouri, which left 14 dead and several wounded. (source)
The spate of deadly attacks in West Africa, many of them happening in Burkina Faso, appears to be part of a larger breakdown in the Sahel region, a semiarid zone south of the Sahara and north of the jungle that includes the lands beginning in Senegal and going through Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, and as far east as South Sudan. A combination of porous borders, tribal tensions, and domestic fighting have exacerbated a problem that regional and international forces, mostly from the US and France, are now fighting in. The violence has left thousands dead and millions displaced in one of the poorest, least governed parts of the world that has now become an unspoken but acknowledged forefront of the American “war on terror.”
France was the former colonial power in most of the Sahel and has led international response efforts as well as military efforts through the French Foreign Legion. She has worked closely with the US in military training in the region for the last decade and continues to increase her ties to the US, with most of these efforts being directed against Islamic terrorists, although cooperation strongly increased starting in 2012 following French involvement to “crush” Islamic insurgencies across northern Mali by groups allegedly linked to Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
In spite of the work with the US, the situation has not improved. With ethnic militias exploiting communal tensions, rampant corruption, and a flood of arms whose sources have not been clearly identified to the public, large swaths of these landlocked countries have seen mass migration to Europe by way of travel through Libya following the fall of Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 and have largely remained ungoverned.
This fighting is now getting worse as violence has been into neighboring Ivory Coast and Benin. In response, the US, France, and now Germay have offered by way of their 2017-founded “Sahel Alliance”, whose purpose is to fight terrorism, $13 billion in “assistance” alongside 800 development projects to be implemented over the next five years. Unfortunately, talk is cheap and in the meantime, the violence has only continued.
If we place these events into the known western exploitation and usage of terrorism as a means of policy that function as a way to “tune” the “strategy of tension” that has been employed since World War II beginning with the Gladio program and her subsequent affiliates in the various NATO nations, plus knowing the Al-Qaeda have long suspected as well as demonstrated ties to US and other Western intelligence agencies, one cannot wonder if the terrorism in that region is entirely geopolitical.
Recall as well that in January 2019 I warned that Burkina Faso could become the next “Baku Oil Sands” as US AFRICOM reports suggest that Burkina Faso and her neighbors contain some of the largest deposits of oil in the world, a massive oil field that stretches from Senegal to Cameroon and possibly the Congo. This does not include the deposits of precious metals and rare earth minerals, the latter which is necessary for use in supercomputer and advanced robotics or upcoming scientific processes.
France veritably controls all of the Sahel region nations by way of the West and Central African Francs, which are issued by the Bank of France and which she uses in order to maintain domination over them even though they are theoretically independent. France needs Africa because just like Russia uses Siberia, the US the nations of the Spanish-speaking world, or Germany her direct neighbors, Africa is the source of her wealth, and if France loses Africa, she loses her empire. As I noted, it is the reason why she has the French Foreign Legion, for they keep her colonies “under control” for her.
The US-French cooperation is thus mutual, and likewise both benefit, when considered from the standpoint of a strategy of tension, from the increased terrorism in the Sahel region as it provides a justification for an increased Western presence there that can be exploited for gain.
It’s not just the Western nations who are struggling for control. The Chinese are attempting their own foothold, and they are certainly going to interfere as are the Russians.
There really is no “good guy” here because everybody is looking out for themselves, and everybody is trying to grab as many resources as possible because what appears to be taking place is another Scramble for Africa but in a modern context. With mines being opened and further oil pipelines coming from the Sahel region and further south under construction or expansion, let alone what is taking place in the rest of the world, the terrorism seems to be, as it has been used throughout the centuries, just another reason to justify “tit-for-tat” attacks against other major nations as domestic re-militarization builds up and there looms over Europe and the West the shadow of another great war approaching.