Captain Ibrahim Traoré, transitional president in Burkina Faso plagued by terrorist violence since 2015, acknowledged that “the power of the enemy” had “greatly increased” on the ground.
“The power of the enemy has increased a lot on the ground, its equipment is also being modernized as it goes,” Captain Traoré said on Saturday in a speech to special anti-terrorist units.
But, “we are going to equip ourselves a thousand times more than the enemy, to train, to train the troops correctly for the war”, revealing in passing “new acquisitions of means of land and air combat”, including drones among the most “efficient”, said the Burkinabe head of state. “Many other things are to come, land means, in terms of infantry and aviation,” he promised.
“It is the people who make their war, it is the population who contributes”, because “the material ordered is (…) through the taxes that we recover”, underlines Captain Traoré.
Since October, more than one billion CFA francs (about 1.5 million euros) have been collected following a call for contributions to a “war effort” for the reconquest of national territory, launched by Captain Traoré.
New taxes on various consumer products (drinks, cigarettes, cosmetics) introduced since February, then extended to other services such as telephony, have made it possible to mobilize more than 30 billion FCFA (around 45 million euros), according to the Burkinabè Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Since coming to power in September 2022, Captain Traoré and his government have shown their desire to diversify their partnerships in the fight against terrorism, in particular with Russia, after having asked in mid-January for the departure of French troops in the name of “sovereignty”.
Burkina Faso has been caught in a spiral of terrorist violence since 2015, which has killed more than 16,000 civilians and soldiers, according to NGOs, and more than two million internally displaced people.