Burkina Faso Lawmaker Killed in Area Ravaged by Militants

Simon Gongo

(Bloomberg) -- A Burkinabe Parliament member, who was also one of the last authorities in a region ravaged by militants, was killed in a suicide bomb attack in the northern Djibo region on Sunday, security and government officials said.

The lawmaker, Oumarou Dicko, who had gone to officiate the launch of a Red Cross program to tackle youth employment, was traveling back to the capital Ouagadougou when his car hit a roadside bomb that killed the driver before gunmen opened fire and killed the lawmaker, a civil servant and Dicko’s cousin.

The assault comes as Burkina Faso grapples with an Islamist insurgency that has displaced more than half a million people, according to the U.N. Over 200,000 people have been displaced in the last four months, most of them from the West African nation’s northern regions.

The Sahel, a semi-arid region on the southern fringe of the Sahara, stands out as a region where violent extremism is on the rise in contrast to progress made fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The spike in violence has lead to increasing discontent with how President Roch Marc Christian Kabore’s government is tackling the situation. Senior opposition politicians have called for Kabore step down.

On Saturday 20,000 people gathered at a stadium in Ouagadougou to show support for the country’s security forces, according to the organizers.

--With assistance from Katarina Hoije.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simon Gongo in Ouagadougou at sgongo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Ludden at jludden@bloomberg.net, Matthew G. Miller

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