West African NGO coalition demands immediate release of Burkina Faso human rights defender News
© WikiMedia Commons (Henry Wilkins/VOA)
West African NGO coalition demands immediate release of Burkina Faso human rights defender

West African NGO alliance the People’s Coalition for the Sahel demanded on Sunday that Burkina Faso immediately release human rights advocate Daouda Diallo, Secretary General of the Collective Against Impunity and Stigmatisation of Communities (CISC), on Sunday.

The CISC said Friday that shortly after Diallo left the passport office in Ouagadougou that afternoon, he was abducted by at least four unidentified men in civilian clothes. Diallo is the founder of CISC.

As detailed in a recent Amnesty International report, military officers in Burkina Faso successfully carried out two coups d’état in 2022 — one in January, and one in September. In March 2022, a national conference approved a transitional power agreement that granted the military officers who overthrew the previous government control for three years of political transition. The Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration, Burkina Faso’s ruling military junta, has been carrying out a massive requisition of citizens since November. Citizens in the requisition list are forcibly mobilized to take part in government security operations, pursuant to Burkina Faso’s April 2023 mobilization decree. These citizens include journalists, politicians and Diallo.

In September, former National Transitional Council member Arouna Louré was taken by authorities. His current whereabouts remain unknown.

Burkina Faso is a country suffering from violence spurred by the jihadist Islamic State in the Greater Sahara and self-defense groups called Koglweogo, formed in response to Islamic State violence. The CISC comprises 30 civil societies and humanitarian organizations that document unlawful killings and instances of torture committed by Koglweogo groups in the name of community policing.

The alliance’s statement also called for Meta and X to reinforce their vigilance against hate speech to block violent discourse that polarizes the Sahel.