Burkina Faso’s Ruling Junta Forcefully Conscripts Critics for Military Service

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have accused Burkina Faso’s ruling junta of kidnapping and conscripting its critics, based on the reports of victims and civil society groups. Now, a recently published Reuters report is alleging the same. The Reuters investigation unearthed 23 abductions since March 2023. It directly verified 19 of these through interviews with the victims, family members, colleagues, and civil society groups, while the other four were identified through public statements from a variety of sources. Since the junta took power in September 2022, there has been a crackdown on dissent, with several critics, including activists and journalists, disappearing. While some of the victims have since been released, most of them remain unaccounted for. The junta’s conscription efforts are seen as a move to silence opposition amid its struggle to control the insurgency, with detainees often subjected to beatings, torture, and forced labor. The junta has not responded to these allegations.


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