By Hassan Isilow
The president of Burkina Faso said on Monday his country took the fight against terrorism seriously, explaining its decision to join four other states in the Sahel region in forming a joint counter-terrorism force.
“We have taken the fight head on but we cannot win overnight,” Roch Marc Christian Kabore said in response to a question from Anadolu Agency during a news conference at the Pan African Parliament in Johannesburg.
“As you know well, in the Sahel the situation has been difficult, but terrorism is not just an African problem but a global issue,” he said.
Kabore said in February he joined his counterparts from Chad, Mali, Niger and Mauritania in agreeing to form the G5 group that would set up a joint counter-terrorism force to deal with terrorist threats in the region.
The Sahel is home to many terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)
Last year, AQIM claimed responsibility for assaults that killed 28 people and injured over 50 others after it attacked a hotel frequented by tourists in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou.
In February terrorists also attacked two police posts in Burkina Faso; just months after 12 soldiers had been killed by militants in a raid near the Mali border. Attacks also occurred in Mali and Ivory Coast in 2015 and 2016.
The African Union has already approved the establishment of the joint counter-terrorism force but it is yet to get a mandate from the United Nations Security Council.