Deliberately targeting civilians or individuals not taking direct part in hostilities constitutes a war crime.United Nations Human Rights Office spokesperson Seif Magango in a statement on an attack by al-Qaeda-linked rebels who killed at least 40 civilians as the fighters tried to take over a town in northern Burkina Faso, according to the UN rights office.
Why It Matters: Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in West Africa, has faced heightened instability in recent years as jihadi groups – with ties to U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization al-Qaeda – seek increased power. Thousands of people have been killed, and more than two million have been displaced. The Associated Press describes the most recent attack by U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization JNIM – which the UN rights office says killed at least 40 civilians and injured more than 42 – as “one of the largest clashes in recent years.” The UN rights office deemed the attack a war crime.
by Emily Hooker, based in Texas