Burkina Faso rejects accusations that soldiers massacred 223 villagers

Burkina Faso has rejected “baseless accusations” that soldiers massacred 223 people in attacks in February. A Human Rights Watch report alleged the army killed 179 people in Soro village and 44 others in Nondin, at least 56 of who were children, on 25 February.

The NGO said this was “among the worst army abuse” incidents in the country in nearly a decade.

Burkinabè authorities said they had opened a legal inquiry to “establish the facts” and condemned HRW’s report. The minister also expressed his surprise that “while this inquiry is under way to establish the facts and identify the authors, HRW has been able, with boundless imagination, to identify ‘the guilty’ and pronounce its verdict”.

Earlier this week, officials in the military-ruled country suspended the BBC and US public broadcaster Voice of America over their coverage of the HRW report. In a statement released on Thursday, HRW said the alleged mass killings “appear to be part of a widespread military campaign against civilians accused of collaborating with Islamist armed groups, and may amount to crimes against humanity”.

Credit: bbc.com


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