Burkina Faso Military Executed over 200 Civilians in Attacks Against Yatenga Villages, per HRW

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has reported that 223 civilians, including dozens of children, in the villages of Nondin and Toro, Yatenga province, were summarily executed by Burkinabe forces in February in an apparent reprisal attack over militant activity in the area by Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM).

The Massacre

On February 25 at about 0700 local time, JNIM militants launched a large-scale attack against a military base in Ouahigouya, which resulted in several casualties amongst Burkinabe forces stationed there.

According to survivor interviews by HRW, Burkinabe military forces entered the Nondin later in the morning shortly after a group of Jihadists passed by the village, where civilians were ordered out of their homes, rounded up, and executed. Villagers trying to flee were also gunned down. Military forces then moved to the nearby village of Soho an hour later, where similar executions took place.


One survivor told HRW that “Before the soldiers started shooting at us, they accused us of being complicit with the jihadists,” while another stated that “They said we do not cooperate with them [the army] because we did not inform them about the jihadists’ movements.”

In the end, 44 people, including 20 children, were killed in Nondin, and 179 people, including 36 children, were killed in Soro.

By March 1, Ouahigouya high court prosecutor Aly Benjamin Coulibaly released a statement that  he had received reports of “massive deadly attacks” against the villages by Burkinabe forces and that an investigation had been launched. However, HRW has stated that investigations into killings by military forces often die out and those responsible for massacres go without punishment.

Burkina Faso Security Situation

According to the 2024 Global Terrorism Index, Burkina Faso became the country with the highest impact from terrorism for the first time amid increased terrorist activity by ISIS and JNIM jihadists. Since 2022, Burkina Faso has faced two coups, leaving the country with a continuously worsening security situation amid a 68 percent increase in deaths due to terrorism.

A quarter of all terrorism deaths that occurred globally in 2023 were in Burkina Faso.

While civilians face attacks by jihadists, human rights groups report that civilians also face attacks by government forces who frequently accuse villages of collaborating with ISIS and JNIM.

Unbiased & Unfiltered News Reporting for 12+ years. Covering Geo-Political conflicts, wartime events, and vital Breaking News from around the world. Editor-In-Chief of Atlas News.


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