Qatar has donated military hardware to Burkina Faso in an effort to support the West African country’s battle against militant groups. Defence and security online news site, defenceWeb, reported that the small Gulf state completed the delivery of 24 Storm armoured personnel carriers (APCs) yesterday.
Qatar is reported saying that the delivery was part of its support for peace and stability in Burkina Faso and that its donations would strengthen international efforts to combat terrorism and insecurity in West Africa as a whole. The APCs are intended for use in the G5 Sahel group countries – Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania – to combat Boko Haram, and other militant groups that are said to be linked with Daesh.
Over the past two years large areas in the G5 group have been taken over by militants. The Guardian reported that authorities in Burkina Faso have lost control of large regions to a spreading insurgency. Conflict is said to have escalated dramatically and over the past five months and that civilian death toll had risen by 7,000 per cent compared with the same period last year.
The UN yesterday said that insecurity and armed attacks in the Sahel have reached “unprecedented levels”. The warning was included in a briefing in Geneva by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Security incidents in Burkina Faso, Mali and western Niger are said to have sharply increased in recent months. “Over 150 violent incidents were recorded in April alone, claiming more than 300 lives. The crisis is affecting extremely vulnerable families. Needs in the Sahel are chronically high, and communities are still struggling to recover from the impact of severe drought that hit the region last year,” the report said.
Some 5.1 million people in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger’s western Tahoua and Tillaberi regions are said to be in need of humanitarian assistance.