Burkina Faso is promising attractive bonuses for civilians who will help the army neutralize terrorists. Something to whet some appetites…
Will Burkina Faso become an El Dorado for bounty hunters? More than a job, bounty hunting is a real tradition in the United States, where handsome sums are offered to those who arrest offenders. Less in Africa. However, by publishing a list of "actively wanted" terrorists and offering bonuses to those who would neutralize the terrorists, the Burkina Faso junta could well launch a manhunt.
It was this Thursday that the security services of Burkina Faso published their famous list. Sums ranging from 150 to 275 euros are proposed for the "arrest" or "neutralization" of terrorists. The country's successive presidents have failed to stem the terrorist threat, but Captain Ibrahim Traoré has made security his priority.
If civilians are asked to participate in the hunt for men "actively wanted for participation or complicity in the planning or conduct of terrorist acts", the government expects above all information "of such a nature as to allow the arrest or neutralization of one of these individuals", for remuneration.
Among the personalities targeted by the message issued by the Ministry in charge of Security, we find members of the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (JNIM), affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Sahel, such as Sidibé Dramane, alias Hamza , and Diallo Moussa, alias Abou Ganiou. For these two men, the premiums are the highest. Several other personalities are also wanted.
Isn't this operation likely to push civilians to arm themselves and go in search of terrorists? Burkina Faso, overwhelmed by terrorism, had already decided to raise a mass of civilian volunteers, the Volunteers for the Defense of the Homeland (VDP), whose role is to support the army.
What the Nigerian neighbor criticizes. For Mohamed Bazoum, President of Niger, “arming civilians to fight terrorists is a tragic mistake” and “VPDs are not the solution” to terrorism. “If the terrorists are stronger and more seasoned than the army, how could civilians resist them? asks the Head of State.
But by promising quite attractive bonuses, Traoré can also hope to attract foreign mercenaries who would do everything to neutralize the wanted terrorists. It remains to be seen whether this will be a winning bet or not.