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Burkina sacks governors of regions targeted by jihadists

A French armoured vehicle patrols in a street of Diabali – 400km north of Bamako/AFP

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso, May 8 – Burkina Faso’s President Roch Marc Christian Kabore has sacked the governors of four regions attacked by Islamic extremists, a statement said Thursday.

The West African country has suffered from increasingly frequent and deadly attacks attributed to a number of jihadist groups, including the Ansarul Islam group, the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM) and Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.

Kabore appointed new governors in five of the country’s 13 regions, including four in the north, the east, the Sahel and the central north which have been targeted by jihadists.

The new governors named at the weekly government meeting are mostly civilian administrators or officers in the armed forces, like their predecessors, said the statement, which came after a cabinet meeting.

The past four years have seen a major outbreak of violence by jihadists.

A curfew has been imposed since March in the eastern and central eastern regions, while an anti-terrorist operation is in hand to dislodge the armed extremists from hideouts.

Faced with an unprecedented number of jihadist attacks, Burkinabe authorities in February launched a major overhaul of military leadership and appointed a series of officers to senior ranks in the army.

The violence was initially concentrated in the north, but then the capital Ouagadougou in the centre was targeted, with other regions.

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