Burkina Faso’s government on Thursday lashed calls on social media to attack the country’s Fulani minority, describing them as a campaign for “ethnic cleansing” similar to the Rwanda genocide. Audio postings, mainly disseminated on WhatsApp, have urged “native” Burkinabe to attack Fulani people, particular in the southwest region bordering Ivory Coast. “These are extremely grave words,” government spokesman Lionel Bilgo said in a statement approved by the cabinet. The messages “can only bear comparison with the abuses of Radio Mille Collines which led to the Rwanda genocide, one of humanity’s worst tragedies and from which we should learn to draw the lessons,” he said. Around 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were murdered in Rwanda in 1994 during a 100-day rampage. Radio Mille Collines (“Thousand Hills Radio”) was a station that notoriously propagated incitement to ethnic Hutus to “kill Tutsi cockroaches.” Bilgo said the postings amounted to “active and direct calls for murder, mass killings, ethnic cleansing and sedition — the tone and words used send shivers down the spine.” The country had to act “firmly and resolutely” against “speech that is hateful, subversive, dangerous and unacceptable in a country as rich and diversified as Burkina Faso,” he said. The audio postings coincide with a jihadist insurgency that has ravaged the impoverished Sahel state. Thousands of people have died and nearly two million have fled their homes since armed Islamists, based in neighbouring Mali, started mounting cross-border attacks in 2015. Some of the jihadist recruits are Fulani, also called Peuls, stirring “terrorist” accusations against the group and fuelling tensions in the ethnically diverse country. Similar accusations also circulated in Mali.