Quatar has donated 24 Storm armoured personnel carriers (APCs) to Burkina Faso, which will use them for counter-terrorism and security operations.
Three Qatar Emiri Air Force C-17 Globemaster III airlifters finished delivery of 24 of the vehicles to Burkina Faso on 8 May. The Qatari Ministry of Defence said in a statement that the vehicles were received in Ougadougou by Burkina Faso’s defence minister.
Qatar said the delivery is part of its support for peace and stability in Burkina Faso and the move would strengthen international efforts to combat terrorism and insecurity in West Africa as a whole. They will be used alongside G5 Sahel group countries (Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania) to combat Boko Haram, Islamic State and other terror groups in the region.
The Storm is made by Qatar’s Stark Motors, which was established in 2017 as the country’s first armoured vehicle manufacturer. The vehicle is based on a Toyota Land Cruiser 79 series chassis, powered by a 4.5 litre V8 turbodiesel developing 195 hp. It has accommodation for either six plus two or eight plus two.
According to Stark Motors, the vehicle is armoured to CEN B6 level protection, and this covers the engine, sidewalls, roof, windshield, underbody and doors. The floor is protected against two DM 51 German ordnance hand grenades. The vehicles delivered to Burkina Faso have a weapon station for a machinegun or automatic grenade launcher above the troop compartment.
Qatar has previously donated Storm vehicles to African countries. In December last year it gave Mali 24 of the APCs to assist it combat terrorist groups in the area and in January this year Qatar handed over 68 Storms to Somalia to combat al Shabaab militants.
Qatar has increased efforts to show it is a force for good in international security since its Gulf Arab neighbours imposed a diplomatic and economic boycott on it in June 2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism.
Burkina Faso has over the last several years taken delivery of additional military equipment that has, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, included 120 mm mortars from Albania; a single DA 42 MPP reconnaissance aircraft from Austria, three Super Tucano trainer/combat aircraft from Brazil, ten Bastion armoured vehicles from France, 31 Puma M26 armoured personnel carriers from South Africa and two UH-1H helicopters from Taiwan as well as two Mi-171Sh armed helicopters from Russia. The Super Tucanos were first used for air strikes in September 2018. Earlier this year it emerged that Burkina Faso was also operating Otokar Cobra vehicles.