More Burkina Faso attacks..

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by sestoppelman, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Who knows, Benin is close, and those scenarios change.

    It all depends on what you are comfortable with.

    In addition to the info given by Brickburn, Spain has troops in CAR, Mali and Senegal.
     
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  2. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I would note that Benin is rated low on the danger scale by the State Dept. Its proximity to the other countries means things can change rapidly, it shares the southern border hunting area with BF and is in the same cluster of countries. There is no where on the planet that has no risk in visiting, but there are some places best avoided when there are other options.
     

  3. Von S.

    Von S. AH Fanatic

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    Hahaha...

    It wasn't safe in Africa 50 years ago and if safety is number #1 on your list then forever forget about Africa.

    Go to New Zealand or Australia as they have been on the list of the top 30 safest countries on the earth for as long as I can remember.

    Africa has 57 countries and not a one has ever been on the safe country list ever.
     

  4. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Well, Oz and NZ don't have African critters do they? Don't much care about shooting roos and bunnies...:rolleyes::rolleyes:;);):D:D
     

  5. JPbowhunter

    JPbowhunter AH Fanatic

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    Plenty of buffalo and deer here.

    Mind you, on average one person a year gets disembowled by a roo.
     

  6. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I know they have a type of buff there, but I said no AFRICAN critters.;) I got more deer in my backyard than I ever saw hunting in this state. Like pets though. Frankly I think roos are a bit creepy.
     

  7. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    The East Border Region

    In the Komondjari, Topa, Kompienga and Gourma provinces adjacent to Niger, Benin, and Togo, terrorist and criminal groups have attacked security and military vehicles with improvised explosive devices (IEDs), destroyed hunting and security force outposts, stolen equipment and vehicles, destroyed schools, and killed civilians

    This is from the updated State Dept website on travel to BF. Its not looking good. Note that hunting outposts being destroyed. Going to take a lot of improvement to get me going there.
     
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  8. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Man.... hopefully things settle down in the near future. Plan on hunting Benin in 20
     

  9. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Oddly enough, even though right next door, Benin is still rated low on the danger scale. That could change quickly however. Both are right next to Niger and Nigeria, the real problem children of the area, along with Mali and Chad.
     

  10. WAB

    WAB AH Elite

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    I have traveled to Togo extensively and have never run into problems. It is Benin’s western neighbor.
     
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  11. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Two Mirage fighter jets. One Reaper drone. Ten rebels killed. I wonder what the cost per rebel was?!
     
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  12. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Legend

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    Doesn't matter because I bet that was awesome!
     

  13. Hunter4752001

    Hunter4752001 AH Senior Member

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    Out of interest, does anyone know the going trophy fee for an Al Queda? :rolleyes:

    On a more serious note: I have doubts about a website which gives security advice based on media reports (we all know how accurate the media is). If you look through the list, even the US is rated as "High".
     

  14. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Right on!
     

  15. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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    got this email.....i presume others might have got it also.....

    Please, at your HuntingAfrica.com dinner in Dallas, I hope you will please raise this critical issue. Thank you.

    I am trying to bring the ongoing critical wildlife situation in Burkina Faso to the attention of people (literally anyone) outside that country. As you may know, Burkina Faso, Benin, and Niger provide habitat for the final viable herds of savanna big game in West Central Africa, including the last few hundred endangered West Central African lions. Now terrorism threatens the system that has supported the conservation of these animals and habitat. If allowed to go on unchecked, the herds, if not all the animals, in Burkina Faso, then Benin and Niger, will be gone in a disastrously short time. I would invite you to click on my timeline at Facebook (Thomas McIntyre) and read my several postings over the last few days on this unfolding tragedy. If there is a way of contacting you directly, I hope that I may. I wish you the best, and I am, very truly your, Tom McIntyre.

    Background: For all of my nearly sixty-seven years, I have been fascinated by Africa, its environment, people, and wildlife. Over forty years ago I was able to make my first safari to Kenya, and have returned to the continent more than a dozen times. This has led to a career as a writer on outdoor topics and numerous books, including my latest, Augusts in Africa.

    Last January, I was able to travel to and hunt in the nation of Burkina Faso; and it was extraordinary to see so much large wild fauna in West Central Africa–everything from elephants and lions through buffalo, Western roam, kob, hippo, crocodile, francolin, guinea fowl, all wild and free ranging. It was a small piece of Africa, but the concept of giving the wildlife value through safari camps to give the local people a stake in wildlife and wild-land conservation was clearly working. Then last week, in a series of e-mails from a contact of mine, there was this (I will leave my friend’s words in their raw unfiltered state so he can better express his anger and frustration). Regrettably, in the current climate, I don’t think we can count on our government to take any action, at least not without its being prompted:

    I am very sorry to inform you that the jihadists have burned down our camp in Burkina Faso last week as well as several other hunting camps. We had already cancelled the coming season! The eastern part of the country was always quiet but has suddenly become a hot bed of terrorist cells of al Qaeda SOBs.
    Fortunately no one was in camp! The caretaker had gone for lunch…
    They have burnt many camps now. Government is useless…if they [al Qaeda] set up camp in that area and make it a no-go area it will be the end of the wildlife. The elephants are already killed off, all the big ones, now they will finish the rest. Its very sad Tom. I want to set up a FB page to bring the world’s attention to this issue!!!
    It’s a very sad situation as their plan is to create a base in that forest area and get rid of all the wildlife and government authorities. No doubt the game will all be gone if nothing is done about it soon...
    Is there anything we can do to bring it to the attention of SCI [Safari Club International] and DSC [Dallas Safari Club–and I would add the conservation community in general: This is clearly a matter of wildlife, human rights, and terrorism] so they can lobby our government to put some pressure on the government of Burkina or raise attention to this situation!? Everything can be rebuilt but the game will be gone forever if this goes on for a few years! As it is they have wiped out the elephant bulls and now working on the cows and anything with even the smallest ivory!


    Rather unwelcome words to share this time of year, even more so for me to hear–I knew this place, these people, these animals.

    This letter represents a portion of what I am trying to do to raise awareness of this potentially tragic, for all of the three mentioned above, situation.

    If there is anything you can do to bring attention to what could be the end of some of the finest savanna wildlife left in West Central Africa, I can only hope, with respect, that you will.
    Thanking you for taking the time to read this letter, I am

    Very truly yours,
    Thomas McIntyre
    Sheridan, Wyoming

    Here, a full account of the situation from the contact with the most firsthand information:

    Dear All,
    Last week our camp Arly Safaris, the first hunting concession and camp ever to be set up in Burkina over 30 years ago, was attacked and burnt to the ground by Islamist Jihadists. Since then they have also attacked a number of other hunting camps and burnt and destroyed them as well. In our camp fortunately, no one was injured or killed, I am not sure about the other camps.
    This is a huge setback for everyone, starting from you the client–without your support the conservation fueled by hunting dollars would not have been possible–me the agent, the concession owner, the people who worked in these camps who depended on this income for their very survival, the poor villagers who depended on their share of the game meat (a third of all the meat by law goes to the surrounding villages) and finally, and most of all, the wild animals which will no doubt be gone forever if this situation continues. In the years that I have been hunting there, all the big elephant bulls have been killed, not by hunters, but by the jihadist-backed poachers who are now killing the females, young ones, anything showing even the smallest bit of ivory.
    This is especially heart breaking for me as I considered it my own little slice of Africa and while I arrange hunts all over the continent and world, Burkina was always a special place. French hunters have hunted it for a long time; but when I first discovered that such a place existed, precisely three American hunters had been there and I contacted all of them. My first advert said more Americans had walked on the moon than hunted in BF and I was right at the time. Over the years, I was to change that, taking more American clients (including two Weatherby Award winners) to Burkina than any other outfitter or agent.
    The people of Burkina Faso, some of the poorest in the world, are honest, friendly and ready to give everything they have for a client. By international safari standards they were ill trained and diamonds in the rough, often showing up with holes in their clothes and toes sticking out of their old hunting boots left behind by a long-gone client. But not a single one was dishonest or had a bad bone in his body. The fact that they couldn’t speak English was difficult with clients, but our group of translators made things work.
    In Burkina clients hunted with these local PHs, a great experience for those who did not need hand holding and the guidance of a white PH. While they may not have lacked the polish of other PHs in Africa, they did not lack courage or bush skills. Ishmail hunted many lions over the years with clients and even survived a mauling by one! Junjwa would turn into a cat on the final approach, moving fast from bush to bush, bringing his hunter right up to the game. Buwaba, much more cautious, produced some of the best trophies every year. Omaru was a hit with all clients as he made them feel comfortable and relaxed and always had a smile and laugh even when things were going south. All out of work now, with no way to feed their families and watching helplessly as the game they loved and protected so dearly is now vulnerable with no protection whatsoever!
    When I first hunted in Burkina, the head PH guided me with an old 458 with a pipe clamp holding the barrel to a piece of wood which was a stock a long time ago. I resolved this by sending them a battery of CZ rifles and we were truly in the game. The trucks were beaten up old junks, left in the bush like farm tractors, fired up before each season with parts from everywhere and left to weather in the heat and rain after the season ended. They looked like crap but for the most part they ran. The camp was by no means five star or luxurious, but comfortable. In that beastly heat starting from end of February, the air conditioners struggled to keep the guest chalets cool, but you realized how hot it was when you stepped out. In late February the harmattan winds and sand storms that blew in from the Sahara, covered everything with fine dust and blanketed the place in a fog that lasted for a few days at a time–this was something to be experienced. I once shot a great buffalo in the middle of a sand fog. Seeing a lion, buffalo and elephant within 10 minutes of leaving camp one afternoon will always remain in my memory! The wildlife found in our concession included the West African cheetah, leopard, hippo, crocodile, korrigum to mention a few of the main species.
    The money from the hunting and tips from the clients paid for salaries and the livelihood of over 20 families that worked in the camp as well as the chef de poste and his team of village trackers who accompanied every client on their hunt. How they will manage now is anyone’s guess.
    One generous client sent money every year to educate a boy who used to work in the kitchen. This year I had to tell him this was no longer possible, not only because the camp had been destroyed but also the boy’s school had been shut down by the jihadists who now seek to turn the clock back to medieval times.
    This is what hunting in Burkina was all about...
    Back to reality. The north of Burkina on the border with Mali has always been a hotbed of terrorist activity. The situation in Mali is very complicated and there is a great documentary well worth watching on youtube called Orphans of the Sahara. This will give you a better understanding of the problems in that part of the world. A very tough, savage land and tough people.
    The east of Burkina has always been quiet but in the last few months it has suddenly seen a number of attacks on mine workers, gendarmerie and government officials, ranging from all out-gun fights to IEDs, resulting in many casualties of the poorly trained Burkina army. From all accounts it seems that the intention of the jihadists is to set up a base in the forested area of the Eastern portion of Burkina Faso from which they will be difficult to dislodge. No doubt they have taken ideas from Boko Haram in Nigeria who played the same game in the Sambisa forests in the north.
    This tragedy is not just a human story but the loss of the last refuge of wildlife left in West Africa: the largest but fast disappearing concentration of elephant, lion, buffalo, roan and species of antelope unique to West Africa. Yet again this story can only be brought to the attention of the public by the hunting community. There is no wildlife tourism in Burkina, so it is a country totally off the map for any wildlife-loving tourists except hunters. But it is time for everyone to unite, non-hunters as well as hunters, and those that just look on and turn the page or click on the next news link, to stop for a moment, spread the word, share this message, write to powers that be and do something before it is too late. Please, please share this story and copy and paste it on your own Facebook timelines. In this day and age when viral videos of someone twerking to a groovy beat can generate a million views overnight, surely this warrants more. To do nothing would be a crying shame.
    I cry for you, Burkina Faso.


    Finally: Two photos, one very disturbing, showing what saving the wildlife of Burkina Faso means and what it will look like if nothing is done. There is NO photo tourism in this area, or likelihood of there ever being, so the only source of income for the people is that paid through managed hunting. One photo is of the local children who receive the legally taken meat of the game animals, and whose parents receive income from the safari camps. The other is is a young bull elephant that crossed out of Arly National Park and was butchered for what ivory it had by poachers, likely terrorists. Elephant hunting is not legally permitted in Burkina Faso and pictured are hunters and trackers from Arly Safari, the shock troops against poaching, who this time were too late; yet the elephants that are still there have survived because of this camp and these people; now their camp and their jobs are gone, and soon, so too may the animals. TRIGGER WARNING–DISTURBING PHOTO.

    IMG_3846.JPG IMG_3298.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2018
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  16. Pondoro

    Pondoro AH Fanatic

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    This is very sad...lets hope the BF government ask France for help....they ousted jihadists in Mali in 2014 with great sucess.... Operation Serval..

     
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  17. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    So damn sad! I hope they get help fast! To loose western Africa, not only it's wildlife but also it's people in this manner is a travesty. I hope the word gets out quickly. But as with the very nature of terrorism it will be a long fight. Who has the will to do so?
     

  18. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Despite recent propaganda Islamic jihadists are not defeated. They simply move from one area to another. Unfortunately, there is no leadership from the west on this issue as every major country is just looking inward. Europe is in turmoil, and the USA is stepping back from its central role. In the pushback against globalization a power vacuum is created which will allow jihadists to flourish. I have no doubt the Chinese government will see the opportunity to also consolidate power in the region, such as Zambia is experiencing. If the western democratic countries dont figure out how to work constructively together we will see a lot more of this.
     
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  19. flatwater bill

    flatwater bill AH Elite

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    The indigenous chant "Africa for Africans" has a lot of implications. They want to manage "their" continent without outside interference.....just send bags of money. Northern European styled governments are facing compassion fatigue. Open borders, free health care for all, rampant immigration of "refugees" all are affecting charities. I fear the problems noted at the start of this thread will not rise very high on the radar screen. News in America has nothing of the state of the world. There are only 5 things covered; 1. I hate Trump, 2. Racial hatred-a minority was slighted, 3. a little local news...warehouse fire, 4. downtrodden masses from the south, and 5. movie star news. There is no time for investigating world problems....even those that will eventually impact all of us. And never, never mention the population balloon.....ggod luck in bringing this to anyone's attention.....it is a worthy consideration.....FWB
     
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  20. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Sad state of affairs. I have been hearing that if some thing is not done soon it's a lost cause....
     

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