The United Nations has called on the Authorities in Burkina Faso to urgently conduct a full and independent investigation into the recent killing of a number of civilians in a village near the border with Mali.
The killing occurred on Thursday when armed group in uniform surrounded Karma village, located in northern Yatenga province, and randomly opening fire at people; killing at least 150 civilians and wounding scores of others.
According to reports, the attackers – allegedly members of the defence and security forces, accompanied by paramilitary auxiliaries known as the Volunteers for the Defence of the Homeland (VDP) – then began looting homes, mosques and other properties.
Burkina Faso has been experiencing a state of unrest and insecurity in recent years, with attacks reportedly carried out by suspected jihadists. Armed group activity, and military operations, have sparked widespread immigration, forcing some two million people into displacement.
OHCHR Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said, “We call on all parties to the conflict in Burkina Faso to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, including by refraining from targeting civilians and civilian objects. Deliberately targeting civilians or individuals not taking direct part in hostilities constitutes a war crime.”