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A miner at a gold mine in Bouda, Burkina Faso. A miner at a gold mine in Bouda, Burkina Faso, Feb. 23, 2020 (AP photo by Sam Mednick).

Formalizing West Africa’s Mining Sector Could Pay Security Dividends

Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022

The residents of Solhan, a village in northeastern Burkina Faso, are painfully aware of the connection between artisanal mining and insecurity. 

Last June, insurgents invaded the village, targeting the civilian self-defense force in the area as well as an artisanal gold mine located there. They went on to burn down a market and several houses, killing at least 160 civilians in the process. The regional governor directly blamed the incident, which marked one of the deadliest-ever insurgent attacks in Burkina Faso, on artisanal gold mining, and he subsequently banned the practice after the attack. ...

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