When European colonization reached the area
that today constitutes Burkina Faso, a number of
different peoples lived there. Dominating was the mossi,
which had established two major kingdoms: Wogodogo
(Ouagadougou) and Yatenga. These were conquered by the
French, who in 1919 founded the colony of Upper Volta.
In 1947, the colony reached the same limits as today's
Burkina Faso. Upper Volta won its independence in 1960.
Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Burkina Faso, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
The peoples bobo, lobi and gurunsi were probably the
first to settle in the area that today constitutes
Burkina Faso. Mossi, which is now the country's largest
ethnic group, began migrating into the 1000s and
organized itself into small kingdoms in the middle and
eastern parts of the area.
In the 15th century, the mossi founded the states of
Wogodogo (Ouagadougou) and Yatenga which remained until
around 1900. Ouagadougou was ruled by a king titled
morho naba. The kingdom resisted constant recurring
invasion attempts by the Muslim peoples songhai and
fulani. Mossi traded with other important kingdoms in
West Africa, such as Ashanti in present-day Ghana.
In the Middle Ages the kingdom of Gourmantche was
also formed in the east. In the south and west, however,
organized state formation was lacking.
European colonization reached the area in the late
19th century. The French conquered the Mossi kingdoms
and in 1897 the entire present Burkina Faso was declared
French protectorate. However, the chiefs, including
morho naba, were allowed to remain as leaders.
The French colony of Upper Volta was created in 1919,
when parts of surrounding French colonies were merged
into a new unit. It was then broken apart again but was
recreated for the last time in 1947 with today's limits.
Upper Volta was given the right to elect its own
governing body in 1957 and the following year it was
granted autonomous territory within the French
Commonwealth. The country became independent on August
Land grief following new attack in the north
35 civilian Burkinians, most of them women, and seven
soldiers are killed in a military posting in the
northern city of Arbinda by suspected jihadists.
According to the authorities, some 80 jihadists are also
killed in fighting between the rebels and local security
forces. After the attack, a two-day country grief is
announced. No group has assumed responsibility for the
deed. The day after. on Christmas Day, at least eleven
soldiers are killed in a new attack in the Sahel region.
The escalating violence in the north has driven about
half a million people to flight and since 2015 has
claimed several hundred lives.
CFA franc will be eco 2020
Eight West African countries using the CFA franc
regional currency agree in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, to
change its name to eco. The intention is that it will
continue to be linked to the euro, but the eight
countries, Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory
Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo will no longer have
to store 50 percent of their foreign exchange reserves
in France and France should no longer have any
representative on the board of the currency union. The
intention is for the change to take effect in 2020.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who is in place in
Abidjan, says in connection with the fact that
colonialism in Africa was "a serious mistake". Critics
of the CFA franc see it as a remnant from the colonial
era, others as a guarantor of financial stability.
New violence in the north
About 20 people are killed in connection with the
shooting of two army units in the northern part of the
country. In Loroum Province, three soldiers are killed
and four injured, while four soldiers are wounded in
Sourou Province. According to security sources, about 20
suspected terrorists have been killed in a
counterattack. The same sources claim that the
government army has killed 76 jihadists since
At least 14 are killed in church attacks
At least 14 people were shot dead during a church
service in a church in the village of Hantoukoura in the
eastern part of the country, near the Niger border. Even
more people are injured, according to sources in the
region cited by the BBC. The attack is carried out by a
group of men, but it is unclear what motives are behind
the act. In the past year, the Eastern region has been
affected by increased violence from jihadist groups.
Burkina Faso accuses Mali of violating the border
Burkina Faso accuses Mali of having carried out an
illegal operation on Burkese territory the week before,
in which three people were killed. Representatives of
the Malian defense say they followed the assailants who
moved in across the border. The invasion, according to
the Burmese military, must have occurred since a Burmese
village inhabited by people from the Dozu people was
attacked by Malayan people from the Fulani people. The
Malian side, for its part, claims to have encountered
representatives of the dozo who prepared themselves to
defend themselves against fulanis.
The military kills 32 in two operations
Burkese military claims to have conducted two
operations in the northern part of the country, killing
32 "terrorists". Twenty-four of the deaths were claimed
during an intervention in the village of Yorsala in
Loroum province on November 15, where the military also
claims to have exempted women who have been held as sex
slaves. Eight human lives were claimed at the next
operation on November 16 on the outskirts of Bourzanga
in Bam Province. The data have not been fully confirmed
by independent sources.
38 dead in assaults on mining companies
38 civilians are killed and 60 injured in an attack
on a column of five buses from Canadian mining company
Semafo about four miles from Boungou in the eastern part
of the country. Most of the victims were local employees
working in a gold mine, but the death rate is probably
higher, as it is not known how many soldiers escorted
the column who have lost their lives. This is the third
assault against Semafo in 15 months. Death victims were
also required in the earlier deaths, and since then the
mining company has strengthened security. Semafo
operates two mines in Burkina Faso. Earlier that week,
five military police and five civilians were killed in
another attack in the northern part of the country. This
means that nearly 700 people have been killed in similar
attacks since 2015. Several jihadist groups are
suspected to be behind the death. Later, information
emerges that the miners must have been worried about
their safety and should have requested to be flown to
the mine by helicopter that is done with the foreign
personnel at Semafo. The company announces in December
that operations will not be resumed until early next
year, and that it is a prerequisite that the safety
along the roads and in the region be strengthened.
14 dead in three attacks in the north
At least nine people, all civilians, are killed in
the village of Zoura in Bam Province in the north of the
country. The assailants arrive there shortly before the
curfew comes into effect from half past seven in the
evening and open fire on the villagers. They also rob a
store and steal cattle. A few days earlier, on October
19, four soldiers and a policeman were killed in two
other attacks in the north, in the northern provinces of
Loroum and Yatenga. Jihadist groups are suspected of all
of the three killings. Since 2065, around 600 people
have been killed in connection with various assaults.
At least 20 dead in new assaults
At least 16 people are killed and two seriously
injured in an attack on a mosque in Salmossi in the
Oudalan region of the country's north. Many people flee
the area after the deed. On the same day, thousands of
protesters gather in Ouagadougou to distance themselves
from terrorism but also to protest against the foreign
military being allowed to have bases in the country,
which despite the growing violence is unpopular in
Burkina Faso. On Sunday, four more people were killed in
a new attack, this time in Samboulga, Loran Province in
the north. According to data collected by the AFP news
agency, nearly 600 people have been killed in the
country since the wave of violence began in 2015, but
domestic groups say the death rate is even higher.
At least 20 dead in attack on gold mine
About 20 people are killed when a gold mine in Soum
province in the north of the country is attacked by a
group of armed men. It is unclear who is behind the
attack, but the suspicions are directed at jihadist
groups active in the area.
At least 17 dead in new assaults
At least 17 people are killed in several attacks in
the northern part of the country. Nine people are killed
and several stores burn down. Later that day, nine
victims were killed in an attack on another village in
the same province. In a third act, a soldier is killed
when an army unit is attacked. Various jihadist groups
are suspected of having performed the death.
World Cup bronze for Burkina Faso
A Burkinier Fabrice Zango wins bronze in three stages
in the Doha Athletics World Cup in Qatar. This is the
first time anyone from Buirkina Faso has won a medal in
a world championship in athletics.
Over 580 dead in violence since 2016
At least nine people are killed in two armed attacks
in the northern part of Burkina Faso. Jihadist groups
are suspected of death. Since 2015, according to the AFP
news agency, over 580 people have been killed in various
acts of violence in the country. In most cases, various
jihadist groups are believed to be behind the attacks.
Tear gas against protesters in Ouagadougou
Protesters gather in Ouagadougou to protest against
difficult economic conditions, the government's
inability to fight jihadist groups, and foreign troops
being allowed into the country. They do so even though
the demonstration has been banned by the authorities.
However, the protest is stopped by the police, who put
tear gas on the demonstrators. Trade unions and other
civil society organizations organizing the protest are
planning new similar demonstrations over the coming
West African leaders agree on new fund against
West African leaders agree to jointly spend $ 1
billion over the period 2020-2020 to combat the growing
violence from militant Islamist groups in the region. It
takes place at a meeting in Burkina Faso's capital
Ouagadougou. Attending the meeting are political leaders
from the 15 countries that are part of the West African
cooperation organization Ecowas as well as the
Mauritanian and Chad presidents. The money should go to
a common fund. How they should be distributed will be
presented at an upcoming summit in December. Ecowa's
leader Jean-Claude Kassi Brou says that jihadists2,200
attacks have been carried out since 2015, which claimed
a total of about 11,500 casualties, driven hundreds of
thousands of people into flight. He calls on the UN to
strengthen its peacekeeping force, Minusma, which has
been stationed in Mali since 2013. There is also a
special force, G5 Sahel, which Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad,
Niger and Mauritania, launched together with France in
2017. But it suffers from a great lack of resources, and
the force so far only consists of 4,000 soldiers not
5,000 who planned.
Violence forces 300,000 to flee
The increased violence in the country has forced
nearly 300,000 people to flee, according to data from
the UN and the International Red Cross Committee. At
least 125 health care facilities have been attacked in
various attacks, of which almost the booklet has been
forced to close. This, together with the violence, means
that about half a million people do not have access to
health care. In addition, half a million people are at
risk of food shortages.
Six policemen are killed in attacks in the north
Six policemen are killed in an attack in Soum
province in the north of the country. It is unclear who
or who is behind the act, but several jihadist groups
are active in the area.
At least 29 dead in new terrorist acts
At least 29 people have been killed in two attacks in
the northern province of Sanmatenga. In one, 14 civilian
Burkinis are killed when a food transport column is
attacked, according to the government. In the other, 15
people are killed and six are injured when a truck
drives on a homemade explosive charge. According to
information to the British media company BBC, supplies
are stolen in connection with the death.
Long penalties for coup makers
Two Burmese generals are sentenced by a military
court to long prison sentences for 2015 having organized
a coup against the then transitional government (see
September 2015). General Gilbert
Diendéré, from the former presidential guard, is
sentenced to 20 years in prison for murder and for
damaging state security, while General Djibril Bassolé
receives 10 years in prison for high treason. Both men
were close to former President Blaise Compaoré. Compaoré
is now in exile in the Ivory Coast. 14 people were
killed and 250 were killed during the week that the
military held power. The day after, Fatoumata Diendere,
wife of one of the generals, is sentenced to an even
longer prison sentence, 30 years, for, among other
things, murder, ill-treatment and state security. A
further eight people are sentenced to participate in the
coup and are sentenced to ten to 30 years in prison.
Colonel Traoré Abdoul Karim André, who is considered to
have planned the coup, was also sentenced in his absence
to a 30-year prison sentence (he has been on the run
since 2015 and is believed to be in Togo). The same goes
for former Sports Minister Émile René Kaboré, who learns
to be in Ivory Coast.
The state of emergency is extended for six months
The Burkina Faso National Assembly extends the state
of emergency in 14 of the country's provinces for six
months, until January 2020. The state of emergency,
introduced in December 2018, gives security forces extra
powers to fight jihadist violence in the country.
Jihadist groups are suspected to have killed 450 people
in Burkina Faso since the wave of violence erupted in
Criticism of new media team: threat to freedom of
The National Assembly in June 2019 approves a bill
that states that anyone who spreads fake news and who
reports on terrorism or the work of security forces in a
way that "threatens the public order or can affect
ongoing operations" can be sentenced to just over a fine
and imprisonment for up to ten years. To enter into
force, the law must also be approved by the president.
Press freedom organizations and human rights
organizations criticize the law, which they believe is a
threat to freedom of the press in the country.
Dozens of dead in new jihadist acts
At least 17 people are killed in an attack on the
village of Belehede in the northern part of the country.
According to Defense Minister Cheriff Sy, jihadist
terrorists are behind the act. An intensive military
search is underway for the perpetrators. The following
week, at least 15 people were killed in two new attacks
in the northern part of the country.
At least 19 dead in attacks in the north
At least 19 people were shot dead in an attack on a
village in the Arbinda district of northern Burkina
Faso. The deed, which must have been carried out by
about ten armed men. Arbinda has been hit by several
jihadist acts lately, despite attempts to strengthen
security in the area.
French court decides on extradition decision for
The Court of Cassation in France decides that
François Compaoré, brother of the former president and
suspect of involvement in the murder of journalist
Norbert Zongo in 1998, should be extradited to his home
country. They thus determine the outcome in the Court of
Appeal at the end of 2018 (see December 2018).
Before an extradition can take place, the French
government must give its approval.
Six are killed in attacks on church
A group of between 20 and 30 men attack a Catholic
church in the city of Dablo in the northern part of the
country. Six people are killed, one pastor and five
parishioners. It is unclear who is behind the act, but
the violence from jihadists has increased dramatically
in Burkina Faso in recent years.
Two soldiers are killed in connection with the
French special forces release four foreign nationals,
two French, one American and one South Korea, held
hostage in the northern part of the country. In
connection with the exemption two French soldiers are
killed. It is unclear who is behind the kidnapping. The
day before, President Kaboré dismissed the governors of
four regions hard hit by violence from jihadist groups.
At least twelve dead in two jihadist acts
At least six people are killed by a group of men
attacking an Protestant church in Silgadji near Djibo in
Soum province in northeast Burkina Faso. Two more people
are missing after the attack. It is the first jihadist
act against a church since the last wave of violence
erupted in Burkina Faso in 2015. Reports also say six
people were killed in an attack on a school in the
village of Maitaougou in Koulpelogo province in the
country's east. Islamists are suspected of being behind
Minister: over 60 dead in violence in the north
62 people have been killed in jihadist attacks and
subsequent ethnic strife in the Arbina area of the north
of the country, according to Simeon Sawadogo, Minister
of Territorial Affairs. Sawadogo claims that 32 people
were killed by the jihadists, while the others fell
victim to revenge attacks by kouroumba, fulani and mossi
people and others.
Kidnapped teachers are found dead
Two teachers who were kidnapped from the city of
Djibo in the northern part of the country on March 11
have been found dead. Jihadist groups who oppose the
children receiving Western education are suspected to be
behind the act. According to the government, teachers
are threatened by jihadists who want to force them to
leave the area. In recent months, the violence has
forced more than 1,100 schools out of almost 2,900 in
the three most vulnerable regions to close. Read more
about the threat to schools here.
The MRI group accuses the military of summary
14th of March
The human rights organization MBDHP accuses the
government of "summary executions" of some 60 people in
connection with operations against jihadist groups. The
military stated on February 5 that "146 terrorists" had
been blamed for jihadist attacks in Cain, Banh and
Bomboro in the north (see February 2019).
MBDHP claims that there is no evidence that any fighting
was going on in the area, and that it could have been
confirmed that at least 60 cases were about
extrajudicial executions. Most of the 146 victims
belonged to the Fulani people. In the past, HRW has made
similar allegations against the military in connection
with operations carried out in 2017 and 2018.
Thirty suspected jihadists are killed in military
Burmese military claims to have killed some 30
suspected jihadists in an operation in Kombienbiga,
Kabonga and other regions of the eastern part of the
country. Large quantities of weapons and ammunition have
also been seized.
Fespaco is 50 years old
Africa's largest film festival, Fespaco, opens in
Ouagadougou. The festival, which celebrates 50 years, is
expected to receive around 100,000 visitors to the 450
film screenings. The festival is held every two years in
the Burkinian capital. This time, the security push is
greater than otherwise due to the increasing violence
from jihadist groups.
Five dead in suspected jihadist deeds
A 72-year-old Spanish priest was killed by suspected
jihadists when he, along with several others, returned
from a meeting in Lomé, Togo. In another attack nearby,
four customs officials are killed when they are attacked
by some 20 armed men near Nohao. In four years, more
than 300 people have been killed in various assaults.
One million Burkinis in need of relief
More than one million people in Burkina Faso now
depend on emergency aid, according to the UN agency Ocha,
which together with the Burkese government will try to
raise $ 100 million in relief efforts. The money will go
to food, water, housing, care and protection for the
900,000 people most severely affected. About 130,000
children are at risk of severe malnutrition. A thousand
schools have been closed, which means that 150,000
children do not receive the education they are entitled
New army chief is appointed via decree
Through eight decrees , President Roch Marc Christian
Kaboré appoints new leadership for the country's
military. In addition to a new army commander, new
commanders are appointed for the country's three
The military: "Jihadist deeds require 14 lives"
14 civilians are killed in a jihadist attack in the
city of Cain in Yatenta province, not far from the
border with Mali, Burkese military claims.
Representatives of the army later say that an operation
has been carried out against the jihadists and
"neutralized 146 terrorists" in three areas (see also
Four soldiers are killed in attacks
At least four soldiers are killed when a group of
heavily armed men attack a military base in Nassoumbou,
Soum Province, near the Mali border.
Ten dead in suspected terrorist attack
At least ten people are killed in an attack on the
village of Sikire in the northern part of the country,
according to Burkina security sources. According to a
local official with the news agency AFP, armed men have
come to the village in rounds to kill villagers and loot
shops. Several motorcycles should also be stolen.
Christophe Dabiré becomes new head of government
Reverend Roch Marc Christian Kaboré appoints new
Prime Minister via decree Christophe Dabiré. Dabiré held
several ministerial posts, including those responsible
for health and higher education, in the 1990s.
The government is leaving
Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba and his entire
government resign. Nothing is said to explain the
Kidnapped Canadians found dead
A Canadian geologist who was kidnapped by dozens of
armed men at a gold mine in the northern part of the
country, near the Mali and Chad border, has been found
dead. It is unclear who is behind the deed. There are
also suspicions that a Canadian and an Italian relief
worker were kidnapped in December near the town of
Bobo-Dioulasso in the southwestern part of the country.
Twelve civilians killed in jihadist attack
Twelve people are killed in a jihadist attack in the
village of Gasseliki in the northern part of the
country. A barn and six stores are set on fire at the
same time. The deed is done in conjunction with a market
held in the village.
The army commander is allowed to go
The country's army chief Oumarou Sadou is dismissed
by the president, via a decree. He is replaced by Moise
47 dead in ethnic violence in the north
A jihadist attack on the village of Yirgou in the
Barsalogo district of northern Burkina Faso demands
seven lives, but at the same time triggers a conflict
between the village mossi people and the
livestock-eating fulanis that are in a camp setting.
When villagers chase the assailants, they also attack
the Fulani camp, accusing the people there of
cooperating with the jihadists. According to a
government spokesman, 47 deaths are required, including
the villagers who were killed in the attack on Yirgou.
President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré later visits the
area and emphasizes that there is nothing that can
justify this violence.