The killings, attributed to army auxiliaries, have been condemned by the government and civil society organizations.The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, called on Friday 6 January the Burkinabe authorities to expedite investigations into the killing of at least 28 people whose bodies were discovered in Nouna, in the province of Kossi, on 30 and 31 December.
“It is encouraging that the authorities have announced the opening of an investigation into this incident. I call on them to ensure that it is swift, thorough, impartial and transparent and to hold all those responsible to account, regardless of their position or rank,” he said, adding that he had sent a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs to that effect.
According to the Burkinabe Movement for Human and Peoples’ Rights (MBDHP) and the Collective against Impunity and Stigmatisation of Communities (CISC), members of the Volunteers for the Defence of the Homeland (VDP), army auxiliaries, attacked civilians, killing 28 people including children, in retaliation for an earlier attack on the auxiliary base the previous night by members of the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM).
Government spokesman Jean Emmanuel Ouédraogo, said in a statement on January 2 that an investigation had been opened, following the prosecutor of Burkina Faso, and that the transitional government was “fundamentally opposed to any form of abuse or violation of human rights for any reason whatsoever” and reiterated its commitment to protect all civilians without distinction.
The government deplored the “hateful or ethnicist comments made recently on the networks,” which have “increased since the tragedy in Nouna.” The authorities condemned “without hesitation the glorification of terror, wherever it comes from and whoever the authors are.”