The military operation has led to last week’s recapture of the town of Solenzo, in western Burkina Faso.The army announced that it has been conducting an operation called “Feleho” (Take back your property in Bwamu language) since 1 December 2022.
Its aim is to secure the population and create the conditions for a gradual return of public administration and basic social services in the Banwa province.
The operation mobilised all the national armed forces and volunteers for the defence of the country (VDP) in the area, the army reported in a statement issued on Friday 16 December.
“The offensive ground actions, combined with air and artillery strikes, have achieved significant tactical results,” it said.
Some 40 jihadists were neutralised and terrorist bases destroyed in several localities in the province.
“On 2 December 2022, a unit was attacked by a terrorist group in the vicinity of Bolomakoté in the department of Bondokuy. At least 15 terrorists were neutralised,” the army said.
It added that on 7 December, the units ambushed a group of terrorists on the move near Ouarkoye.
“24 terrorists were neutralised and their weapons recovered,” the official note said.
An improvised explosive device was defused on the Kosso-Founa axis.
The army insisted that manoeuvres were carried out in “strict compliance with the rules of engagement.”
In early November, it had been accused of abuses against civilians in the north.
“On the friendly side, a soldier unfortunately lost his life at the very beginning of the operation. On the friendly side, unfortunately, a soldier lost his life at the very beginning of the operation. They have all been taken care of,” the defence and security forces said.
During the operation, soldiers also provided assistance to the local population.
Several dozen people received medical treatment
The Fehelo Operation recaptured the town of Solenzo a few days ago.
The army raised the Burkina flag at the Banwa High Commission, marking the end of the jihadists’ presence in the town.