On Thursday, February 24, 2023, Burkina Faso announced the launch of a campaign to recruit five thousand soldiers to serve in the army for at least five years to assist the authorities in their war against jihadists.
This country, one of the poorest in the world, has witnessed a jihadist insurgency since 2015.
“Five thousand non-commissioned soldiers will be recruited into the national armed forces, to serve at least five years, in their military recruitment area, nationwide,” Defense Minister Colonel Major Kasum Coulibaly said in a statement.
Young men will be recruited from February 28 to March 7, and recruits must be born between January 1, 1988 and December 31, 2003, according to the defense minister.
The regions most vulnerable to violence will have a higher share of recruitment, including Boucles-de-Mahoun in the west and the Sahel in the north.
It is the third time in less than a year that Burkina Faso’s army has undertaken such a campaign. In April 2022, three thousand soldiers were recruited, and this was repeated in October.
Burkina Faso has witnessed two coups since last year, and the military leaders are accusing each other of failing to stop the violence.
In seven years, more than a thousand civilians and soldiers have been killed, according to NGOs, and nearly two million people have been internally displaced.
Captain Ibrahim Traore, who took power following a coup on September 30, 2022, set his goal of recovering 40 percent of Burkina Faso’s territory, which is controlled by jihadist groups linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.
Shortly after assuming power, he launched a campaign to recruit civil defense volunteers.