Wounded in shooting against protesters at the passage of a French military convoy in Burkina Faso
At least 4 people were injured in Kaya in Burkina Faso, where demonstrators have been opposing since last Thursday the passage of a large military convoy of the French army towards the neighboring country of Niger, according to local and health sources.
And the Burkina Faso news agency “AIB” quoted local sources – unnamed – as saying that the French army fired some warning shots in the middle of the day yesterday, Saturday, but that the demonstrators who fled at first returned determined to return the French military convoy coming from the coast Ivory to Niger.
The sources said that the demonstrators wanted to search the French convoy on suspicion that the elements of the French anti-terror force were in possession of weapons and motorcycles used to supply terrorists.
The demonstrators carried banners reading “We want France to leave” and “Kaya says to the French army: Go back to your country.”
“The protesters do not know the destination of the convoy, and they are only determined to prevent the arrival of any French convoy to the territory of Burkina Faso,” Anadolu Agency quoted one of the demonstrators as saying.
“We are not against the French people, the French are our friends, we want their army to come back so we can reconsider our issues. We have a feeling that they are interested in our resources, not us,” he added.
A local source in Kaya told AFP yesterday, “Tensions escalated between the demonstrators and the French army forces, which spent (last night) in an empty area, and as the demonstrators tried to approach them, the forces fired warning shots,” noting that there were “shot wounds.”
And a health source said that “4 people who were shot were received in the emergency departments of the Kaya Regional Health Center,” noting that “the lives of patients are not in danger.”
And the government newspaper, “Sidwaya”, reported yesterday, Saturday evening, that “3 people were injured as a result of warning shots,” explaining that one of them “was shot in the cheek.”
The source of the shooting was not confirmed, as identical sources reported that the French and Burkinabe forces simultaneously fired warning shots to disperse the demonstrators.
A source from the French General Staff said, “A group of demonstrators tried to cut the fence to enter the area, and the Burkinabe gendarmerie fired tear gas canisters to disperse the crowd, and the French forces fired a few warning shots at the crowd.”
He added, “There are no casualties as a result of the French forces’ move, and we are not aware of casualties even after the tear gas canisters were fired,” stressing that “negotiations are underway between the Burkina Faso authorities and the demonstrators.”
Demonstrators in Bobo Dioulasso (west) and then in the capital, Ouagadougou, last Wednesday and Thursday, prevented a military convoy from Ivory Coast heading to Niger, where Burkina Faso’s security had to use tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.
The French General Staff confirmed that this “convoy of 60 trucks and 100 French soldiers left Abidjan, heading to Niamey and then Gao.”