Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.
The gunmen often arrive on market day, surrounding civilians who gather in northern Burkina Faso to buy and sell goods. After detaining groups of men—up to 14 at a time—they drive off. Within minutes, they execute the men, often on the side of the road, close enough for those back at the market to hear the gunshots.
It’s a scenario that has played out at least nine times in Burkina Faso in recent months, according to a report released Friday by Human Rights Watch. But while the country has been in the news lately because of a rise in attacks by jihadist groups, the gunmen in these incidents are members of the state security forces.