Police, gendarmerie, and customs, all engaged in the fight against corruption in Burkina Faso
Aware of the fundamental role played by the police, the gendarmerie, and customs in dealing with the security challenges of the Sahel, UNODC is committed to providing technical support and to building the capacities of these defense and security forces. In line with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), requiring that each State Party promotes integrity, honesty, and responsibility among public officials, UNODC has been assisting Burkina Faso in the promotion of integrity and in the development of anti-corruption strategies for the police, gendarmerie, and customs.
Between February and May 2018, three national workshops were organized in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso with the police, the gendarmerie, and customs, respectively, in order to formalize strategies tailored towards each security force to promote integrity and fight corruption.
These workshops brought together the heads of the national police, gendarmerie, and customs, as well as officers posted throughout Burkina Faso. Thus, a nationwide consideration was ensured by the participation of officers from border posts and from the interior of the country. This allowed for working conditions in both city centers and in the most remote corners of the country to be taken into account, so as to develop more realistic and relevant strategies.
Through plenary sessions and lively discussions, the workshops provided an overview of challenges related to corruption in these three entities, highlighted existing anti-corruption efforts within the various defense and security forces, and focused on further detailing the tailored anti-corruption and integrity promoting strategies to better curb corruption in Burkina Faso.
The strategies were drafted following a national workshop organized by UNODC and the Autorité Supérieure de Contrôle de l'Etat et de Lutte contre la Corruption (ASCE-LC) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in March 2017 with the police, gendarmerie, and customs, where debates revealed deficiencies in terms of prevention, internal and external control, and repression of corruption within these forces.
The discussions led to the onboarding of a national expert who traveled across the entire country, meeting with members of the police, gendarmerie, and customs throughout the territory, who then drafted specific strategies for each security force.
At the end of the inclusive and participatory workshops, following in-depth reviews, participants validated the three final strategies.
Following their adoption, the final strategies were shared with relevant authorities in Burkina Faso and received strong interest and official commitment by Burkinabe institutions. The Ministry of Security reaffirmed its dedicated support for the strategies' implementation along with the adoption of two anti-corruption laws in 2015, provides a very positive environment to work on anti-corruption and promotion of integrity within Burkinabe security forces.
The workshops in Burkina Faso were held thanks to the financial support of the United States of America, as well as the framework of the Sahel Programme, which was developed in 2014 to support the development of accessible, efficient and accountable criminal justice systems to combat illicit trafficking drug trafficking, organized crime, terrorism and corruption in the region.