between nomads and farmers in Poni and Bougouriba provinces in
southwestern Burkina Faso have left fifteen dead since 25 May according
to Simplice Détouré Dah, an official of the Burkina Faso human rights
Eight people are estimated to have been
killed over the weekend (7-8 June), bringing the total estimated number
of dead to fifteen, although a local source told IRIN he thought the
figures were higher.
The minister of internal affairs Clément
Sawadogo said on Burkina Faso National Radio on 9 June, “It is a
macabre affair, it is unacceptable and we are now working to stop it
immediately by all means.”
The latest round of violence was
sparked by the death of two farmers who were being held in police
custody in the village of Tiankoura in Bougouriba province. The two
were being held on suspicion of involvement in earlier clashes with
nomads in June. The details of their deaths are unknown.
As news of their deaths spread, local farmers took revenge out on nomadic populations nearby.
to Dah, the clashes started on 25 May in the village of Perkoura in
Poni province when nomadic herders brought their animals to graze on
farmers’ land and spread across the region, reaching Tinakoura last
Sawadogo and security minister Assane Sawadogo visited
Bougouriba province over the weekend to try to ease tension between the
have sent a message of peace to [encourage both sides to] bury the
hatchet and to trust us in seeking ways to repair the wrongs and
[address] the situation,” Clément Sawadogo added.
Dah clashes between pastoralists and farmers are a recurring problem in
Burkina Faso, but, he added, “The violence has reached unprecedented
levels this time.”
He criticised the government’s handling of
the crisis. “The authorities should have acted earlier to prevent the
spreading of the clashes…we ask them to come up with a lasting solution
And he called on the authorities to carry out a
thorough investigation of the violence, including the killings of the
two men on 6 June. “As long as there is impunity for crimes committed,
such revenge responses will continue because each population will feel
that the other is privileged.”
According to local sources,
following the violence 15 people are being held in police custody at
Diebougou, the capital of Bougouriba, 372 km southwest of Ouagadougou,
though some say up to 50 detainees are also being held in Gaoua, the
capital of Poni province, 390 km from the country's capital.
August 2007 a similar clash at Gogo, a village in Zoumweogo province
left four dead and 70 wounded, displacing 3,000 others and leading to
hundreds of houses to be destroyed.