Saturday, January 16, 2016

Die Hard With A Tribal Mask: 23 Dead After Al-Qaeda Storms West African Hotel

French special forces troops surround the Hotel Splendid in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

In September last year, in reporting the spread of Islamic extremism in Africa we reported that thanks to the FUKUS axis (France, UK, USA) taking out Libyan strongman Muammar Gadaffi and turning Libya into a failed state with three rival groups claiming to be the government, Al Qaeda and ISIS had been handed a convenient operations base with no local dictator to oppose them, from which they could infiltrate central and southern Africa. Most vulnerable nations were Chad, Mali, Niger (under attack from the south as well, Boko Haram terrorists make regular incursions into its territory) and Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) which does not have a border with Libya but is a target for extremists anyway , because security in these poor African states.seldom extends far beyond the Presidential palace.

The renewed turmoil in the landlocked country which is Africa’s fourth-largest gold producer and which has been torn by civil conflicts since it gained independence from France in 1960. Coup d'etats in 1966, 1970, 1977 and 1983, with changes of political style from the new regimes each time destabilised the country and obstructed progress.

In October of 2014, President Blaise Compaoré, who had ruled as head of a totalitarian regime since 1990, holding power by suppressing opposition, stepped down after nearly three decades as President. On Thursday, October 30 of that year, Compaoré sought to pass legislation that would have paved the way for a new 5-year term.

Here's how WSJ describes what happened next: "That ambition was thwarted by tens of thousands of his compatriots, who swarmed the streets of the capital Ouagadougou. They set fire to the parliament building where the vote had been scheduled to take place, among other government offices. They tore through hotels and shops seen as pro-regime. Up to 30 people were killed in rioting."

Since then anarchy and chaos have ruled, making Burkina Faso a natural target for the Islamic jihad.

A year later later, an abortive attempt by western powers to establish democratic rule by holding free elections was derailed when General Gilbert Diendere (a former chief military adviser for Compaoré) seized power in a military coup. The move coincided with a government committee's decision to disband the presidential guard, an elite group of Compaoré loyalists.

Shortly after that as a result of widespread civil unrest, Diendere stood down and interim president Michel Kafando who had been arrested arrested during the coup, was returned to power. Two months later, Burkina Faso witnessed its first democratic power change in five-and-a-half decades when the country elected Roch Marc Christian Kabore president.

In all that political betrayal and backstabbing rule of law collapsed and the security situation in Burkina Faso descended into chaos as history repeated itself 'first as tragedy then as farce', as the saying goes. Thus Al Queda were able to cross equally lawless and chaotic Niger and into the capital city of Burkina Faso to lay seige to an hotel. It was the second attack on an hotel used by westerners in a West African capital since November 2015.

Al Qaeda terrorists burned cars to prevent security forces approaching the Hotel Splendid

As Al-Qaeda fighters stormed the "Splendid" Hotel in Ouagadougou nearly two dozen people were killed in the initial assault and three gunmen - members of AQIM or, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb - took some 126 people hostage. The militants also conducted "operations" at the nearby Restaurant Cappuccino where ten bodies were found in the wake of the violence.

A team led by French Special Operations troops forced their way into the Splendid, shot the gunmen, described by Burkina Faso's security minister as "an Arab and three black Africans, and freed the hostages, 33 of whom were injured.

"Clashes ended after a period of sustained gunfire and explosions that appeared to focus on the Restaurant Cappuccino early on Saturday," a witness told Reuters. "The Splendid Hotel is popular with Westerners and French soldiers based in Burkina Faso." One hostage said the attackers were targeting "white people."

A witness report from Edward Bunker, an American health worker was broadcast by the BBC, Bunker told the news crew

The operation was reportedly held up by a series of booby traps. "What's making our job more difficult is that they've rigged the access to the upper floors," a Burkinabe officer, said on Saturday.

We have warned in The Daily Stirrer and our other sites since 2005 that Al Qaeda cannot be dealt with diplomatically, these people are extremists and fanatics and whatever demands they make that western powers concede, will only result in further and more unacceptable demands. We must draw the line now to stop the advance of Islamic extremism.

READ MORE ON: Africa >> Terror >> Libya >> ISIS >> Al Qaeda

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