Improvised Explosive Devices in Burkina Faso: Towards the validation of a national strategy to combat them
The Permanent Secretariat of the National Arms Control Commission (CNCA) is holding a validation workshop on 28 and 29 March 2023 in Ouagadougou on the national strategy to combat improvised explosive devices (IEDs). A reference document that will allow the programming of activities to establish a synergy of actions of all actors involved in the fight against IEDs in Burkina Faso.
Burkina Faso has been facing terrorism since 2016, which has a particular impact on the Sahel states. Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are one of the operating modes of terrorist groups. IEDs are a real threat and remain a hindrance to efforts to secure the national territory. These devices, which have caused numerous casualties, hinder the deployment of humanitarian aid, destroy socio-economic infrastructures, and are a source of stress and psychosis among our populations.
According to CNCA statistics, from 2017 to 2023, IEDs have resulted in more than 550 incidents with more than 1,091 casualties including 544 deaths and 547 injuries. These statistics, which indicate the magnitude of the phenomenon, require the fight to be part of a process that takes into account, upstream, prevention and downstream actions of detection and neutralization.
The development of the strategy, said Colonel Major Fatogoma Anselme Sanou, permanent secretary of the CNCA, allows a programming of activities for a synergy of actions of all actors involved in the fight and a mutualization of efforts. The full implementation of this strategy will undoubtedly reduce IED incidents and consequently the number of victims.
No more IEDs by 2027
The vision of the draft 2023-2027 national IED strategy, said Minister of State, Minister of Defense, Colonel Major Kassoum Koulibaly, is to ensure that by 2027, Burkina Faso will have no more IEDs. by 2027, Burkina Faso will be free of all IED-related threats and human life will be guaranteed, the free movement of people and goods will be ensured, and a climate of trust will be established within communities. To achieve this, emphasis will be placed on raising awareness among the population, controlling the components used in the manufacture of IEDs, strengthening the technical capacities of those responsible for combating these devices and acquiring detection and neutralization equipment.
In the meantime, during the two days of work, participants will review the content of the draft strategy submitted for validation in order to make the necessary corrections and make it a reference document in the fight against IEDs in Burkina Faso. Consequently, the Minister of Defense urged participants to look at the draft strategy without complacency so that it can fully meet the expectations of Burkina Faso.
"I would like to take this opportunity once again to reiterate the gratitude of the Burkinabe people for your constant support, especially in these times of great security and humanitarian challenges. I can assure you that Burkina Faso will spare no effort to restore peace and social cohesion in the principle of respect for its international obligations and human rights," he said.
He concluded by thanking the Canadian Embassy for funding the development of the strategy and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), which was the technical arm for the design of the document.