Is there evidence of regular, active public debate on issues of defence? If yes, does the government participate in this debate?
6a. Public debate
Burkina Faso score: 50/100
Outside government, there is no or extremely limited public debate among academia, opinion-formers, and CSOs about defence issues.
Outside government, there is occasional public debate among academics, journalists, opinion-formers, and CSOs about defence issues. Debate also addresses issues superficially, rather than persisting through in-depth and regular discussion.
Outside government, there is regular public debate among academics, journalists, opinion-formers, and CSOs about defence issues. However, debate often addresses issues superficially, rather than persisting through in-depth and regular discussion.
Outside government, there is occasional public debate among academics, journalists, opinion-formers, and CSOs about defence issues. However, when debate occurs, it addresses high priority issues with intensity and in-depth discussion.
Outside government, there is regular public debate among academics, journalists, opinion-formers, and CSOs about defence issues. Debate persists on high priority issues over a period of time, rather than being superficially addressed.
Although Article 8 of the Constitution guarantees the right to freedoms of opinion, of the press and the right to information (1), under Comapaore’s presidency many journalists and other press professionals were caught and jailed for their opinions. Freedom of the press and expressions were violated and suppressed. For example, a well-known investigative Journalist was assassinated on December 13, 1998 (2). This resulted in many criticisms of the military, and particularly those of the RSP. This also happened after the September 16, 2016, military coup perpetrated by the RSP (The Regiment of Presidential Security) (2). After this incidence, defence issues have been debated by media, as well as in academia, notably on the dissolution of the RSP and the depoliticization of the armed forces (3).
Saidou reported that “the first attempt was that of the debate on the adoption of the transitional charter in November 2014. Civil society had proposed a “defence and security commission” among the bodies of the transition, to reflect on the reform of the security sector. The army, little open to external control, had objected. It was a few months later that the reform of the army was introduced into the agenda of the transition when it was included in the remit of the Commission for National Reconciliation and Reforms (CRNR), an established body by the charter of the transition” (3).
1. “Article 8 Constitution of Burkina Faso,” (1991), https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/Burkina_Faso_2012.pdf?lang=en.
2. “Burkina Faso: 2018 Country Review,” Country Watch, 2018. http://www.countrywatch.com.
3. Abdoul Karim Saidou, “Burkina Faso: Où est la Reforme de l’Armée deux ans après l’insurrection?,” Lefasonet, Janurary, 17, 2017. http://lefaso.net/spip.php?article75180.
6b. Government engagement in public discourse
Burkina Faso score: 0/100
There is no government engagement in public discourse about defence issues or official communications contain no meaningful information.
Where communication does occur, it is likely to be one-way: officials may provide some information but may not answer public questions.
The government engages in discussion with the public about defence issues through open forums, an active website, or at media briefings. However this does not happen regularly, or may exclude very important issues that the government chooses to avoid.
The government engages in regular discussion with the public about defence issues through open forums, an active website, or at media briefings.
The government engages in regular debate with academia, opinion-formers, and CSOs about defence issues in collaborative ways. The government co-organises discussions with independent think tanks or civil society organisations, or through joint media briefings.
The government does not participate in public debates, as it still does not share much of its information (1). However, despite the lack of government engagement in public debates the government has initiated a bill of law on the creation of the High Authority for State Control and Anti-Corruption (ARSE-LC), a government body, which the CNT passed on November 2015 (2). The government also initiated law at the ministerial level as well. Hence, the law on the creation of the Gold Anti-Fraud Squad (BNAF), at the Ministry of Mines was passed in January 2008 to monitor corruption and fraud within the sector of mines (US Department of State 2010) (3). Yet, very recently, the Ministry of Civil Service, Employment and Social Welfare adopted its 2017 – 2019 National Plan of Action to address corruption (MCSESW 2017) (4).
1. “BTI 2018: Burkina Faso Country Report,” Transformation Index BTI, https://www.bti-project.org/en/reports/country-reports/detail/itc/bfa/ity/2018/itr/wca/.
2“Burkina Faso 2017 Human Rights Report,” Bureau of Democracy, United States Department of State, 2017, https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/277217.pdf.
3. “2010 Investment Climate Statement: Burkina Faso,” US Department of State, 2010, https://www.state.gov/e/eb/rls/othr/ics/2010/138042.htm.
4. “Open Government Partnership: 2017 – 2019 National Plan of Action,” Open Government Partnership, October 2017. https://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/Burkina-Faso_Action-Plan_2017-2019_EN.pdf.
Compare scores by country
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|Country||6a. Public debate||6b. Government engagement in public discourse|
|Algeria||25 / 100||25 / 100|
|Angola||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|Burkina Faso||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|Cameroon||25 / 100||25 / 100|
|Cote d'Ivoire||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Egypt||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|Ghana||25 / 100||50 / 100|
|Jordan||25 / 100||25 / 100|
|Kuwait||50 / 100||25 / 100|
|Lebanon||50 / 100||25 / 100|
|Mali||100 / 100||75 / 100|
|Morocco||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Niger||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Nigeria||50 / 100||25 / 100|
|Oman||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Palestine||75 / 100||50 / 100|
|Qatar||25 / 100||25 / 100|
|Saudi Arabia||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|Tunisia||25 / 100||50 / 100|
|United Arab Emirates||0 / 100||0 / 100|