The recent killing of 89 people in the northern village of Seytenga was one of the worst massacres in the country’s history.
Authorities in Burkina Faso control only 60 percent of the country, and the rest is out of state control, said a mediator from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Mohamadou Isufu, a former president of Niger and appointed by the 15-member regional bloc to mediate in Burkina Faso, said this in Ouagadougou on Saturday after talks with military officials on the country’s timetable for a return to democratic governance.
“Today, 40 percent of the territory is out of state control,” Isufu said.
“Burkina Faso is facing a multidimensional crisis today: security, humanitarian, political and socio-economic,” he said after talks with military leader Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaago Damiba.
Last weekend, 89 people were killed in the northern village of Seytenga, one of the worst massacres in the country’s history.
“These very painful events prove how difficult the security situation remains,” Isufu said.
Since 2015, Burkina Faso has been gripped by an escalating wave of violence attributed to rebel fighters linked to both al Qaeda and the ISIL group (ISIS).
The violence claimed the lives of more than 2,000 people and forced 1.9 million people to flee their homes.
The country’s new military rulers, who took power in January, say the election will take place in three years and have highlighted the security situation – the country is fighting a rebel movement – to justify the delay.
When Damiba ousted President-elect Roch Mark Christian Cabore, he accused the president of failing to adequately deal with rebel violence and said restoring security would be his top priority.
But the bloodshed continues.
ECOWAS stopped Burkina after the coup and threatened punitive measures unless its military rulers speeded up the process of restoring democracy.