By John Ikani
Burkina Faso’s military rulers have launched a drive to recruit tens of thousands of civilian volunteers to help fight Islamist extremists.
The commander of the force, called Volunteers for the Defence of the Fatherland, Colonel Boukare Zoungrana said the aim was to enlist 35,000 new members.
“Recruitment has been launched for 35,000 volunteers for the defense of the nation” from different districts,” he said.
Their mission “will be to protect the population and belongings of their districts alongside the security forces,” he added.
Recruits will receive two weeks of military training before taking part in operations across the country, which has been battling a jihadist insurgency since 2015.
Beyond the civilian volunteers, the military is also looking to hire 3,000 more soldiers to boost its ranks.
It is worthwhile to note that Burkina Faso, one of the world’s poorest, has been battling a deadly jihadist insurgency since 2015.
Many have been killed especially in the north and east of the country by Jihadists who control around 40 percent of Burkino Faso’s territory.
Burkina Faso has been rocked by two coups since the start of the year, with each new leader accusing the previous of having failed to quell the violence.
Captain Ibrahim Traore was the latest to seize power late last month, naming a new transition government on Tuesday evening.