Insurgency: Burkina to install 900 surveillance cameras

Written by on July 9, 2021

Burkina Faso, battling a jihadist insurgency that has claimed more than 1,500 lives, is to install 900 video cameras in two cities under a Chinese-funded surveillance system.

The “Smart Burkina” system is being installed at 220 locations in the capital Ouagadougu and 80 locations in the second-largest city of Bobo-Dioulasso, Security Minister Maxime Kone said on Thursday in a ceremony to launch the project.

The scheme will give the security forces “the means to be able to detect crime areas and follow delinquents,” Prime Minister Christophe Dabires said.

“Smart Burkina” will cost around 52 billion CFA francs CFA ($94 million / 79 million euros).

Two Chinese firms, Huawei and China International Telecommunication Construction Corporation are in charge of carrying out the project.

“Once the project is finished, the Burkinabe side, as sole beneficiary, will have independent and autonomous management over all the data and all the installations,” the Chinese ambassador in Ouagadougou, Li Jian, said.

Landlocked Burkina Faso is struggling with a six-year-old jihadist campaign that has forced 1.5 million from their homes and inflicted crippling economic damage to one of the world’s poorest countries.

Ouagadougou has been hit three times since 2016, with a loss of nearly 60 dead.

On Saturday, several thousand people rallied in the country’s major cities to protest against insecurity.

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