“They say that we are going to go to the front and that if we are killed, so much the better” – Libération

“They say that we are going to go to the front and that if we are killed, so much the better” – Libération
“They say that we are going to go to the front and that if we are killed, so much the better” – Libération

Narrative

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Since Captain Ibrahim Traoré’s putsch in September 2022, violence against dissident voices in Burkina Faso civil society has increased. Kidnappings, detentions, torture and forced recruitment into the army, the repressive apparatus is well oiled.

It is barely 1 p.m. on July 21, 2023, when the “honorable” Issouf Nikièma leaves his home. It is a Friday, a day of collective prayer for the Muslim faithful. But that day, the former deputy mayor of Komsilga, about twenty kilometers south of Ouagadougou, will never reach the mosque. On the road, a vehicle hits his. Four men in civilian clothes, armed and hooded, are on board. In a few minutes, he disappears with them. Who kidnapped the councilor? Bandits, jihadist insurgents, men from the Burkinabe security apparatus? The third hypothesis emerges when posts on the questionable morality of Issouf Nikièma appear on social networks. Nobody believes it in Komsilga, where the former elected official enjoys strong popularity. Residents are mobilizing, the pressure is increasing.

On the evening of July 24, the former mayor was released. But a month later, thanks to his neighbors, he escaped a new kidnapping attempt in the middle of the night. “I ask the government to enlighten me on what I did, Issouf Nikièma blurted out to the press on August 25. If I made a mistake, someone should summon me instead of coming to my house at 4 o’clock.” Reckless, he accuses the National Intelligence Agency (ANR) of being involved.

Paradoxically, Issouf Nikièma was lucky. In his case, the crazy machine to remove

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