Rachel Martin, Tomorrow, Jason Bogin discussed on Up First
A massacre over the weekend left more than one hundred and thirty people dead in burkina-fasso at least seven of those killed were children. The government is blaming militants linked to al qaeda and the islamic state but so far no group has claimed responsibility. Npr's jason bogan is covering the story from freetown. Sierra leone jason. Thanks for being here. Hey good morning. What more do we know about this attack at this point. Well what we know. Is that heavily armed. Militants attacked this village in the middle of the night. Witnesses say that the shooting started at two in the morning. And this occurred in really remote part of burkina-fasso up near the border with nizhny or it's in the suhel is semi arid region that stretches along the southern part of the sahara and it appeared organized and deliberate the gunman targeted members of the local defense force. They killed civilians. They destroyed houses burned. The local market to the ground. You end is calling. It's one of the worst attacks in the suhel in years in the reports of the number of people killed buried but it appears to be at least one hundred and thirty eight dead in this village. Why was this village a target. Well you know this part of west africa has become a staging ground for al-qaeda and the islamic state. It's a very wide open remote area. These militant groups have found this to be place where they can operate freely they come to control migrant smuggling routes they move a lot of migrants up to the mediterranean as they try to cross into europe and we need to underscore. This is a major conflict. You've got thousands of un peacekeeping forces in the area. France has another five thousand troops. Battling these armed militants that's on top of the local government soldiers yet the militants just slip back and forth to cross the border with ease they disappear into the sahara desert. They terrorizing kidnapped. The locals apparently at will un earlier this year said that clashes between these militants has driven two million people in the region from their homes in this conflict often gets overlooked in the us. But it's having a huge impact in west africa right. I mean this region includes molly just had its second coup in less than a year. So what is the broader effect of this political instability. Yeah i mean molly. Geographically is a big country. It takes up a lot of space west africa and there's a lot of problems when you've got political stability there. It just makes it much easier for these lawless groups to operate in the fear is that this could become a new staging ground for al-qaeda islamic state or other groups. You know in a way that afghanistan was before nine eleven. The fundamental problem is that these nations in the sahel mali burkina-fasso these are some of the poorest countries on the continent and when armed groups start to control area terrorize the locals. It puts everything else. You know education hells economic growth all of that ends up on the back burner and this conflict matter is not just here west africa but because of the awful laws a life that you're seeing in the tax like this one but the fear among western military planners is that you're gonna have this instability and lawlessness allow al qaeda and islamic state to grow and expand their campaigns of violence elsewhere. Npr's jason bogin reporting from freetown. Sierra leone dussen thank you. We appreciate it. You're welcome and that is a first for this monday. June seventh. i'm rachel martin. And i'm layla fall. Didn't start your day here with us tomorrow. And since the news doesn't stop when this podcast ends follow us on twitter up. I for your daily roundup of the most important stories of the day. We appreciate you listening to up first. You can also find more in depth coverage of the stories that we've talked about today and so much more on. Npr's morning edition. It is a radio show. And i hosted along steve inskeep and noel can find morning edition indian. Pr station.