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Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Burkina Faso

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 31 July 2012
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Burkina Faso, 31 July 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/501fbcbfc.html [accessed 20 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Overview: The Government of Burkina Faso remained vigilant and responsive to the threats and dangers posed by terrorist organizations, specifically, al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), despite instability resulting from political unrest and violence in neighboring Cote d'Ivoire, the spring Burkinabe military mutinies, and student demonstrations. The Government of Burkina Faso proactively issued several notices to the diplomatic and international community regarding the threat posed by AQIM and was responsive to U.S. government requests for military and security assistance.

Burkina Faso actively participated in the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP). In response to President Compaore's requests for counterterrorism, intelligence, and border security assistance, the first series of Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program courses were held with the primary beneficiaries being the National Police and National Gendarmerie. Although Burkinabe government's counterterrorism capabilities remained limited, the initiation and delivery of U.S. government training and equipment and its continued participation in regional counterterrorism conferences and training opportunities were important benchmarks for 2011.

Legislation and Law Enforcement: Despite continued financial constraints, the Burkinabe government increased armed patrols in the capital and along the border in response to the January and November AQIM kidnapping operations in neighboring Niger and Mali. The Burkinabe government developed response plans should a kidnapping for ransom operation be attempted in Burkina Faso.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Burkina Faso is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body. According to Burkina Faso's most recent GIABA Action Plan, the Ministry of Finance's newly created Financial Intelligence Unit, known as the Cellule Nationale de Traitement des Informations Financières (CENTIF) will likely require additional personnel, additional training, and better funding in order to be able to carry out its mission. CENTIF collects and processes financial information on money laundering and terrorist financing. In October, CENTIF organized a workshop for the financial sector on money laundering and terrorist financing with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime. There were no known terrorist financing prosecutions in 2011.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.

Regional and International Cooperation: Burkina Faso participated in regional and international counterterrorism conferences and training exercises. The Burkinabe military continued its participation in AFRICOM's annual regional counterterrorism FLINTLOCK exercise. The Burkinabe government signed an agreement with France in 2011 to improve and construct border security checkpoints in the tri-border area with Mali and Niger, and to install systems designed to track movement into and out of the country at border posts. Burkina Faso participated in the Global Counterterrorism Forum's Sahel Working Group.

Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Burkinabe government encourages regular and ongoing interfaith dialogues as a way to mitigate violent extremism. Muslim religious leaders regularly denounced violence and called for peaceful coexistence of all religions.

Overview: Although Burundi's continued participation in the African Union Mission in Somalia has made it a target of al-Shabaab, international terrorism has not yet struck Burundi. While Burundi lacked a sophisticated capacity to foil potential attacks, it has shown an interest in addressing international terrorism. A counterterrorism cell was formed in 2010 and consists of elements of the police, military, and the National Intelligence Service. The cell's physical security recommendations have been put into operation but the cell has not yet implemented a comprehensive plan to counter terrorism.

Legislation and Law Enforcement: Burundi has provisions in its penal code defining all forms of terrorism. Sentences for acts of terrorism range from 10 to 20 years or life imprisonment if the act results in the death of a person. The law was applied in court for the first time in December when a group was arrested for plotting domestic terrorist activities. Burundi also continued its participation in the Department of State's Antiterrorism Assistance program.

Countering Terrorist Financing: Burundi was not considered a significant center for terrorist financing. The Government of Burundi has created counterterrorist financing laws but has yet to commit funding, provide training, or implement policies.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.

Regional and International Cooperation: Burundi cooperated with neighboring countries to exchange information on suspected terrorists but did not participate in any formal regional or international counterterrorism working groups. Occasionally, Burundi mounted counterterrorism operations in conjunction with neighboring countries. An example of this was an operation conducted in conjunction with Tanzania to infiltrate and arrest armed groups labeled by Burundian authorities as domestic terrorists.

Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Several international organizations funded vocational training and economic development programs designed for vulnerable populations.

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