WARNING-GRAPHIC: Al-Qaeda Affiliate GSIM Accuses Alliance Of Sahel States (AES) Of Bombing, 'Massacring' Civilians In Niger, Burkina Faso

June 16, 2024

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On June 13, 2024, the Al-Zallaqa Media Foundation, the media arm of Al-Qaeda's affiliate in the African Sahel, Jama'at Nusrat Al-Islam Wal-Muslimeen (the Group for Support of Islam and Muslims – GSIM), published[1] a statement in Arabic accusing the "Sahel coalition countries" of continuing their "series of attacks" against innocent civilians.

The Alliance of Sahel States (Alliance des Etats du Sahel - AES) was formed in September 2023 by the governments of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger—all of which had replaced their governments in coups within the previous three years—to cooperate against jihadi insurgencies and external aggression.

The statement accuses those countries of a "systematic policy of forced displacement," "indiscriminate killing," "ethnic cleansing," and utilizing "tools of extermination and abuse," most notably Turkish-made drones, to kill "Muslim women and children" in the African Sahel and additional parts of the world.

It lists two recent "violations" against "innocent Muslims" perpetrated by the "militias" of Ibrahim Traore, Interim President of Burkina Faso, and Abdourahamane Tchiani, president of the military junta ruling Niger.

According to the statement, on June 9, a Turkish-made Nigerien drone bombed a civilian car in Niger's Tillaberi region, killing "at least" two civilians, wounding nine others, and causing damage to property.

On June 11, forces of the Burkinabe army perpetrated a "horrible massacre" in the village of Monsango, in Burkina Faso, which killed 24 innocent civilians, mostly women and children of the Fula ethnic group.

The statement concludes that these "new incidents" demonstrate that these "coup governments" are continuing their "genocidal crimes" and "terrorist missions" against "innocent, defenseless" civilians in the Sahel countries, "in flagrant violation of all human norms and international laws, [and] in the face of local and global silence on these horrible, bloody tragedies."

Seven photos were attached[2], showing corpses in Burkina Faso.

GSIM had previously accused security forces of Sahel countries of perpetrating atrocities against civilians, portraying itself as defending locals from oppression. On May 30, Al-Zallaqa published a statement reporting "recurrent aggressions" by the Malian army and Russia's Wagner private military company (PMC) against "innocent civilians" in Tessalit, in Mali's Kidal region.[3] On April 15, Al-Zallaqa released two statements, listing a series of executions by the Malian army and the Wagner Group in Mali, and accusing the Burkinabe army of committing a "heinous massacre" against civilians in Burkina Faso.[4]

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