CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF JANUARY ATTACK IN BURKINA FASO
by Charlotte Giguere
February 1, 2016 | News
Last January 15th, an al-Qaeda attack occurred at the Splendid Hotel and the adjacent Cafe Cappucino in Ouagadougou. Since then, Burkina Faso has been very fragile economically. The citizens need more foreign help than ever, but the current security measures are inadequate to protect the population and possible investors.
The reason Burkina Faso’s “Splendid Hotel,” an expensive Occidental customer based hotel, was attacked that night is due to the country’s current relationship with French and Occidental allies. The nature of this ally relationship is a joint engagement, politically and militarily, in the anti-terrorist war. This mutual goal with Occidentals (al-Qaeda’s main target) puts Burkina Faso in a dangerous position. In order to reassure the citizens, the President of the Superior Council of Magistracy’s states that “terrorism can hit anywhere, the authorities just have to be prepared, careful and well informed.” This being said, it is the country’s duty to protect its population against the danger of terrorism, especially now that the risk of potential attack is high.
Confirming this fact, Julie Marceau, a reporter for Radio Canada, reported that two witnesses of the attack saw the attackers aiming white people particularly and making sure they were dead by shooting them repeatedly. This attack is most likely a reaction to the “Operation Barkhane,” a mission that was meant to send troops comprised of French, Americans and Burkinabe against extremist jihad (ISIS and al-Qaeda).
Burkina Faso is used to violent protests, which have happened a lot over the years, but according to BBC News’ “profile-timeline” of this West African country, the recent attack is the first important terrorist attack.
According to World Bank’s investigation, Ouagadougou’s major fear is that foreign investors won’t come to Burkina Faso anymore. Considering that these investments mostly concern agriculture, the main income of the country, this economic threat will sorely affect this African country. This could lead to even more poverty than there is now if nobody steps in to help.
The main priority should be to reinforce the judicial system to reduce terrorism and assure citizens’ security. René Bagoro, Burkina Faso’s Justice minister said: “The current system is not sufficient considering the growing threat of terrorism.” In order to improve Burkina Faso’s security, investments are required in research and surveillance departments to help early prevention. Ouaga News judges that the right to daily searches is adequate for the current situation.
World Bank is the most efficient economic help to the country. This organization’s mission is to support public sectors and work to reduce the 40.1% poverty rate in Burkina Faso. The organization’s latest project proposal after the attack is a $35 000 000.00 investment in a “Reproductive Health Project.” The goal is to improve child health, health system performance, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS prevention. This health system improvement will help to prevent future health crisis caused by attacks.
Furthermore, considering that six Canadians perished in the Splendid Hotel attack and that their presence is a part of the reason the attack occurred, we should feel even more concerned. This means that we should donate and invest in this country’s projects to reinforce its economy.
When an attack like this occurs, people are lead to talk about it excessively for a short amount of time, but then, they forget it. This is due to the media. The media covers a multitude of stories from around the world, so they change their subject of interest frequently. As a part of the world’s population, we should help others when they face a crisis if we want them to be there when our own crisis occurs.