UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Burkina Faso - Military Doctrine

Reforms are ongoing to restructure the army following the dissolution of the presidential guard regiment that tried to seize power in September 2016. Not only should the reforms ensure that the military stays out of politics, as the president told his generals in early February 2016, but they should lead to better coordination, an upgrading of arms and equipment and specialized antiterrorist training for security forces.

The National Police and municipal police, under the Ministry of Territorial Administration, Decentralization, and Internal Security, and the gendarmerie, under the same ministry as well as the Ministry of Defense, are responsible for internal security. The military, under the Ministry of Defense, is responsible for external security but sometimes assisted with missions related to domestic security. Use of excessive force, corruption, a climate of impunity, and lack of training contributed to police ineffectiveness. Inadequate resources also impeded police effectiveness.

The Military Justice Administration examines all cases involving killings by military personnel or gendarmes to determine whether they occurred in the line of duty or were otherwise justifiable. The administration refers cases deemed outside the line of duty or unjustifiable to civilian courts. Civilian courts automatically handle killings involving police. The gendarmerie is responsible for investigating abuse by police and gendarmes, but the results of their investigations were not always made public.

NGOs and the Ministry of Justice, Human Rights, and Civic Promotion conducted training activities on human rights for security forces. On April 14, the ministry held a workshop on civics and the promotion and protection of human rights for armed forces trainers. The ministry also organized a workshop for police and gendarmes on legal prohibitions against child trafficking, prostitution, and pornography.

Since the November 2015 presidential and legislative elections, civilian authorities have maintained effective control over security forces. Following an attempt to seize power in September 2015, the government dismantled the Presidential Security Regiment (RSP) and integrated former RSP members into the regular army, except those at large or previously arrested for involvement in the putsch attempt. The unit subsequently responsible for presidential security included police officers, gendarmes, and soldiers.

Countering terrorism and strengthening border security are of growing importance in Burkina Faso. The French government worked on the creation and establishment of a 3,000-strong counter-terrorism force in the Sahel region under the name of Operation Barkhane starting in August 2014. Such operation, with its headquarter in N’Djamena, Chad, and its forces present in Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, demonstrated the long- term involvement of France in the Sahel region. France had thousands of troops fighting al-Qaida-linked Islamists in the region, and it has about 3,600 nationals in Burkina Faso. France also operated a special forces base in Burkina Faso that regularly launches operations in the Sahel-Sahara region.

Burkina Faso, a largely Muslim country, had for years been spared from the violence carried out by groups who were abducting foreigners for ransom in Mali and Niger. Then in April 2015, a Romanian national was kidnapped in an attack that was the first of its kind in Burkina Faso.

The siege of an upscale hotel that killed at least 23 people in addition to the four armed fighters in the capital, Ouagadougou, ended 16 January 2016. Interior Minister Simon Campaore said that the victims from 18 countries died in the attack at the Splendid Hotel, adding that more than 150 hostages were rescued in a security operation but a number of them were wounded. Three attackers were killed at the hotel, and a fourth was killed when security forces cleared out a second hotel nearby. Two of the three attackers at the Splendid Hotel were identified as female, President Roch Marc Christian Kabore said on national radio. Government troops, along with their French counterparts, battled the militants to retake the luxury hotel popular with foreigners and UN staff.

Dozens of French forces arrived overnight from neighboring Mali to aid in the rescue. One US military member was embedded with French forces at the scene, and the United States was working to help provide France with surveillance and reconnaissance help.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 04-06-2017 19:01:14 ZULU