The Burkina Faso army has received a shipment of Emirati-made Isotrex Phantom mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles, according to images circulating on social media. The vehicles are believed to have been acquired from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a close ally of Burkina Faso.
The Phantom is a 4×4 MRAP that is designed to protect its occupants from mines, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and small arms fire. It is equipped with a V-shaped hull that deflects the blast from mines and IEDs, and it has a crew compartment that is armored to withstand gunfire. The Phantom is also equipped with a variety of other features, such as run-flat tires and a fire suppression system.
The acquisition of the Phantom MRAPs is a significant boost to the Burkina Faso army’s capabilities. The vehicles will help to protect soldiers from the many threats they face, including the ongoing terrorist insurgency in the country.
The images of the Phantom MRAPs also come at a time of heightened tensions between Burkina Faso and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). ECOWAS has threatened to intervene militarily in Niger, an ally of Burkina Faso, over the country’s recent coup d’état. Burkina Faso has declared that any attack on Nigerien soil would be considered an attack on its own territory.
The presence of the Phantom MRAPs in Burkina Faso may be seen as a sign of the country’s determination to defend itself against any potential threats. The vehicles will also be a valuable asset in the fight against the terrorist insurgency.
It is unclear how many Phantom MRAPs Burkina Faso has acquired, but the images suggest that the number is significant. The vehicles are a welcome addition to the Burkina Faso army’s arsenal and will help to improve the country’s security.
Burkina Faso has acquired a number of armoured vehicles since early last decade
This June, Burkina Faso signed a contract with Egypt’s Kader’s Factory for a number of FAHD Armored Personnel Carriers.
This January, Turkey delivered the first batch of four Nurol Makina Edjer 6×6 armoured fighting vehicle to the Burkina Faso Army.
A shipment of four brown-coloured armoured fighting vehicles were photographed being offloaded in an airport – likely the Thomas Sankara International Airport Ouagadougou in the center of the capital city of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso in December last year
The Nurol Makina Edjer 6×6 acquisition is part of a larger contract that includes a number of Nurol Ejder Yalçın 4×4 armoured vehicle which has since been delivered.
Burkina Faso is one of the world’s poorest, and has been battling a deadly jihadist insurgency since 2015 which has resulted in many killed, especially in the north and east of the country. The West African country 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. So far, Jihadists control around 40 percent of Burkina Faso’s territory.
French soldiers who have been fighting Islamist militants in Burkina Faso have been ordered to leave the country, dealing another blow to Europe’s presence in a region where Russia’s influence is growing.
The failure to stop the jihadist violence and Russia’s growing foothold in the region propelled this decision.
The Burkinabe government last year launched a drive to recruit 50,000 civilian defense volunteers to help the army fight jihadists,