Jihadists have made $140 million from attacks on gold mines in Burkina Faso since 2016, according to a report commissioned by the government.
Jihadists net $140m from Burkina gold mine raids
Gold mining has become increasingly vital to the economy of the landlocked West African country, which was once dependent on cotton exports for foreign earnings.
But the industry has also become a welcome source of funding for jihadists and other armed movements in areas lacking in central authority, according to the report’s author Ollo Kambou of the Burkina Economic and Social Observatory (OES).
The report estimated the total cost of the attacks in terms of damage to property and wider effects to be 600 billion CFA francs ($1.1 billion) since 2016, roughly one third of the state’s entire revenue.
A spiral of jihadist violence began five years ago in parallel with a gold rush.
From 0.40 tonnes in 2007, gold production rose to more than 52 tonnes in 2018, according to Burkina’s Chamber of Mines.
The sector made up 11.4 percent of economic output in 2018. It accounts for 9,200 direct jobs and 2