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Burkina Faso Records Most Terrorism Attacks So Far in 2023

Between January and June 30, there were 2,725 attacks in Burkina Faso, 844 in Mali, 77 in Niger and 70 attacks in Nigeria that all led to 4,593 deaths.

Omar Touray, president of the ECOWAS Commission, told the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday that half a million people in the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are refugees and nearly 6.2 million are internally displaced.

Without adequate international response to the 30 million people in need of food in the region, that number could increase to 42 million by the end of August, he added.

Touray blamed organised crime, armed rebellion, unconstitutional changes of government, illegal maritime activities, environmental crises, and fake news for driving insecurity in the region.

He said the region is worried about the resurgence of the military, with three countries – Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea – under military rule.

“The reversal of democratic gains runs parallel to insecurity that West Africa and the Sahel have been facing for some time now,” said Touray, a former Gambian foreign minister.

He added that attacks in Benin and Togo which have coastlines on the Atlantic Ocean are a “stark indication of the expansion of terrorism to littoral states, a situation that poses an additional threat to the region”.

ECOWAS military chiefs of staff have held consultations to strengthen a regional standby force “in a manner that will enable it to support member states in the fight against terrorism and against threats to constitutional order”, he said.

Touray said the military chiefs proposed two options, establishing a 5,000-strong brigade at an annual cost of $2.3bn or deployment of troops on demand at an annual cost of $360m.

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