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Burkina Faso: Pan-African film festival in full swing amid security concerns

The biannual Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) is in full swing amid security concerns.

The festival which was last held in 2021 is taking place at a time Burkina Faso has a new military leader and serious security breaches.

The political fallout from two coups within eight months and spiralling violence driven by groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State was likely to overshadow the event.

But movie-goers and journalists attending the film festival have the go ahead to attend the event.

In total, 170 films are being screened, including 15 feature films and about 30 short films in competition.

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The festival’s delegate-general, Alex Moussa Sawadogo told Reuters that Burkina Faso had been dealing with the insecurity for several years, but it remained important to show that culture and its people continue to exist.

“Organising an event like FESPACO is to show the world that Burkina Faso is a country that wants to continue writing stories of world cinema,” he was quoted as saying.

The Sahel region has been battling a Tuareg rebellion that started in Mali in 2012.

The insurgency spread quickly to neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso and Niger, killing thousands of people and driving over 2 million from their homes.

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