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People protest outside US embassy in Burkina Faso over interference

Protesters in Burkina Faso wave flags at a protest rally. (File photo by AFP)

People have rallied outside the US embassy in Burkina Faso's capital, protesting US officials’ accusations against the country's armed forces. 

The protest came in the wake of a report by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) which accused the African country's army of summarily executing civilians in two villages in February.

On Monday, the US issued a joint statement with the UK, calling on the Burkinabe government to "thoroughly investigate these massacres and hold those responsible to account".

Hundreds of protesters gathered on Friday outside the US embassy in Ouagadougou, the capital city, slamming Washington for what they characterized as accusations against their armed forces. 

Shopkeepers and private-sector workers marched towards the embassy mid-afternoon, covered in Burkinabe and Russian flags, chanting anti-imperialist slogans. 

"We have come to deliver a message to the Americans to put an end to these accusations against our armed forces who are defending the country at the cost of their lives," Mahamadou Ouedraogo, the spokesman of the group which organized the demonstration, said. 

"Where are these human rights defenders when terrorists are massacring our populations? What are they doing?" asked Halidou Ouedraogo. 

The military rulers of Burkina Faso have dismissed the HRW report, describing it as "baseless" accusations against the army personnel.

The government of Burkina Faso recently suspended the operations of several Western news organizations, including VOA and BBC for airing the accusations against the army. 

It also summoned the charge d'affaires of the US embassy, Eric Whitaker, to state the government’s dissatisfaction with the matter, Burkina's state news agency AIB.

The landlocked West African nation has been witnessing a Takfiri militancy that swept from neighboring Mali in 2015.

Thousands of civilians, troops and police were killed, two million people fled their homes, and anger within the military at the mounting toll and inaction of the Western-backed regimes sparked two coups in 2022.

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