In a distressing incident, the community of Balavé, located approximately twenty kilometers northwest of Solenzo, Burkina Faso, fell victim to a violent attack. Armed men stormed the town on the evening of December 14, unleashing gunfire on the unsuspecting residents. While an official casualty count is yet to be released, various sources suggest that the attack has resulted in dozens of fatalities. Survivors sought refuge in the nearby town of Solenzo.
According to the accounts of some survivors, the assailants entered the commune around 7 p.m. on Thursday. “As soon as they entered the town, they began firing indiscriminately,” recounts a visibly shaken witness. The armed men reportedly paraded through the commune on motorcycles throughout the night.
Following their brutal assault, the armed individuals returned to the scene the next day. Witnesses reported witnessing around ten lifeless bodies, with claims that the presumed terrorists set fire to homes, businesses, and looted belongings abandoned by fleeing residents. “They left with hundreds of heads of cattle,” affirms one witness.
In response to the attack, several survivors sought refuge in the city of Solenzo. Approximately a year ago, the Burkinabè military conducted an operation to reclaim several communes, including Solenzo, Kouka, and Balavé, in the Boucle du Mouhoun region. The transitional president, Captain Ibrahim Traoré, had visited the area to commend the soldiers for their efforts.
The recent attack in Balavé underscores the persistent challenges faced by Burkina Faso in maintaining security and stability in the face of ongoing threats from armed groups. The gravity of the situation demands a concerted response to ensure the safety and well-being of the affected communities.