Anti-Terror Fight:Bourkina Faso Creates Operations Command

Le Figaro with AFP: The head of the junta that took power in Burkina Faso on Friday ordered the creation of a national theater operations command center, the first of its kind in the West African country plagued by jihadist violence since 2015, indicates a presidential decree.

A National Theater Operations Command (COTN) is created for the needs of defense and national security”, indicates a decree signed by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba. This new coordination center, which has as its theater of operations “the entire national territory including land and air borders” , has the mission of “designing, organizing and supporting the security missions” of the country, specifies the decree.

The Head of State, Lieutenant-Colonel Damiba immediately appointed Lieutenant-Colonel Yves Didier Bamouni as commander of COTN, assisted by Lieutenant-Colonel Roméo Djassanou Ouoba. 

“The commander of the COTN who “exercises his authority over all the defense and security forces (FDS) and the volunteers for the defense of the homeland (VDP, civilian auxiliaries) as well as their means engaged in the theater” also ” authority to take any measure corresponding to the needs of defense and security, including restrictions on freedom, movement and the prohibition (of use) of certain means of travel”, said Lieutenant-Colonel Damiba. 

In charge of the planning and conduct of civil defense coordination operations, he is also empowered to “requisition and use the people and goods necessary for the conduct of operations” .

Spiral of violence

Burkina Faso has been in a spiral of violence for nearly seven years attributed to jihadist movements affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, which have killed more than 2,000 people and forced at least 1.5 million people to flee their homes. homes. Several recent particularly deadly attacks have amplified the exasperation of the population against the regime of ex-president Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, who was forced to resign on January 24 after being arrested by the putschists and then placed under house arrest. in a villa in Ouagadougou.

During his only address to the nation on January 27, Lieutenant-Colonel Damiba said he made security his “priority” , stressing that his country “needed international partners more than ever”

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