Burkina Faso, maps to understand the reasons for the last coup

Eight months after the coup that overthrew President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré in January, Burkina Faso is experiencing a new coup. On September 30, army units rose up against Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba. The latter finally agreed to resign on October 2 before going into exile in Togo. He has since been replaced by Ibrahim Traore, a 34-year-old captain.

The latter particularly criticizes Colonel Damiba for his inability to contain terrorism, a priority that had been set the military in January, when Burkina Faso lost control of 40% of its territory within a few years.

Burkina Faso






Green cap







Ivory Coast


Gulf of Guinea







Bobo Dioulasso

by Bobo-




French military base

French Embassy



middle east



by Mouhoun

upper pelvis

Burkina Faso in a food crisis

Large geographic areas

Dry steppe: pastoralism, food crops (sorghum, millet)

Wooded Savannah: Agriculture (cotton, millet, sorghum, corn, peanuts…). breed

main resources

gold mine

Cotton: 3rd African producer in 2020-2021

park or nature reserve

Burkina Faso in the vice of jihad

Jihadist infiltrations from Libya and Mali

French special forces

French institutions attacked by protesters on May 1ah October

Action area of ​​armed Islamist groups

Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), affiliated with Al-Qaeda, born in Mali

Organization of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, born in Mali

Ansaroul Islam, the first local jihadist group

displaced persons and refugees

As of April 2022, nearly 2 million Burkinabés are internally displaced, while 35,000 are refugees or asylum-seekers in the region.

Tensions between farmers and pastoralists

In the north, conflicts between Fulani herders and farmers of Mossi, Foulsé, etc. have taken on a communal dimension. The villages have set up self-defense groups to ensure their safety. The jihadists are using the rural crisis to entrench themselves in Fulani-majority regions as they are stigmatized as “terrorists”.

risk of starvation

In the east, jihadist attacks prevent peasants from reaching their plots and force them to flee to the cities, where food resources are limited.

  • There were jihadist attacks between 2015 and the end of 2021 more than 2,000 dead
  • Nearly 3,300 schools have been closed due to the violence
  • 2.6 million Burkinabés will need emergency food assistance in 2022 (more than every tenth inhabitant)

Sources: H. Théry and D. Dory, “Solhan: Mapping Terrorism and the Territorial Dynamics of an Insurgency”, Mappemonde (online, 2021); International Crisis Group, “Burkina Faso: Breaking the Cycle of Violence” (2020); FAO; Acled; OCHA

Bordering Mali and exposed to the instability of the Sahel, the landlocked country of more than 20 million people has suffered repeated terrorist attacks since late 2015. Since the first alleged attack in Samoroguan on October 9, 2015, jihadist violence has killed and forced more than 2,000 people, including around 500 members of the defense and security forces almost 2 million people flee their homes.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers How Russia advances its pawns in Africa from Mali to Burkina Faso

The jihadists set foot in regions where tensions already existed between farmers and herders over access to resources. Village self-defense groups, set up to compensate for the state’s failure to deal with the insecurity, have fueled inter-community violence.

Nearly 4,200 schools and 200 medical facilities have been completely shut down due to the insecurity, limiting residents’ access to education and health care. The violence and the internal displacement it has caused are also limiting agricultural production, in a country where more than 80% of the population depends heavily on agriculture to ensure their food security: 3.5 million Burkinabés, according to the United Nations , more than one in ten need food aid.

A particularly alarming situation in areas under jihad blockade. Recent example: On September 26, a convoy of goods escorted by the army and destined to supply the city of Djibo was attacked in Gaskindé: at least 11 soldiers were killed and more than 50 civilians missing.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which suspended Burkina in January before reaching consensus with the authorities in exchange for a promise of a return to constitutional order by July 2024, announced it would send a mission to the field.

This new coup comes as anti-French sentiment intensifies in the Sahel. The embassy and French institute in Ouagadougou, as well as that of the country’s second largest city, Bobo-Dioulasso, were attacked by protesters on Saturday and Sunday, some calling for rapprochement with Russia.

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