Now Burkina Faso’s military junta is using a sweeping emergency law against perceived dissidents to expand its crackdown on dissent. Between November 4 and 5, 2023, the Burkinabe security forces notified in writing or by telephone at least a dozen journalists, civil society activists, and opposition party members that they would be conscripted to participate in government security operations across the country.
The transitional military authorities assert that the conscription orders are authorized under the April 13 “general mobilization,” part of a plan to recapture territory lost to Islamist armed groups, which control roughly half of the country.
The plan seeks to create a “legal framework for all actions” to be taken against insurgents and gives the president extensive powers to combat the insurgency, including requisitioning people and goods and restraining civil liberties.
Rights groups say by targeting individuals who have openly criticized the junta, the conscription undertaken in Burkina Faso violates fundamental human rights.
Let’s weigh in on this issue as we bring on board our guests, Sadibou Marong, the director of Reporters without Border West Africa office and from Sierra Leone is governance expert Austin Aigbe.