MAG in Burkina Faso

WEAPONS AND SMALL ARMS AMMUNITION SECURED

2,180

SECURITY AND DEFENSE PERSONNEL TRAINED

107

WEAPON STORAGE FACILITIES IMPROVED

24

MAG'S YEARS SAVING LIVES IN BURKINA FASO

1

MAG is working in Burkina Faso as part of our arms managment and destruction programme in the Sahel and West Africa region.

Police inn Burkina Faso receive certificates after completing a MAG armourer course

Police in Burkina Faso receive certificates after completing a MAG armourer's course.

All photos: Sean Sutton/MAG

The problems

Why MAG is in Burkina Faso

Improving management of weapons and ammunition has become a priority for many states in the Sahel and West Africa region, which have amassed large stockpiles due to conflict, cross-border insecurity, and the prevalence of non-state armed groups.

Limited monitoring and control of government-controlled small arms and light weapons (SALW) and ammunition represents a significant threat to security and stability due to the high risk of diversion to the illicit market.

In particular, the porous borders of states in the region mean that poor management of legally-held stocks, including surplus and obsolete weapons, is a key risk regionally as well as on the local and national level.

Obsolete ammunition poses a further threat when incorrectly stored and can lead to accidental detonation and devastating impact on human life and vital infrastructure.

Armoury in Burkina Faso

“We were trained in the management of arms and ammunition, which will help with safety and security. If the arms are not properly secured there are dangers from theft, fire, etc. Arms and ammunition should not be stored together like this [pictured].” – Etienne works for the Police Nationale in Burkina Faso.

How MAG is helping in Burkina Faso

MAG is working in Burkina Faso as part of our arms management and destruction programme in the Sahel and West Africa region. AMD is primarily about reducing the risk and impact of devastating unplanned explosions at munitions sites (UEMS), and the risk of weapons and munitions being diverted to the illicit arms trade. UEMS and diversion both come at an enormous and devastating human cost.

Arms Management and Destruction

Our AMD work is motivated by the desire to have a positive impact on people and their prospects of socio-economic development. Activities in Burkina Faso include:

ASSESSMENTS

Undertaken in full partnership with national authorities, these are key to MAG’s AMD work: an assessment team evaluates the condition of the infrastructure and its surroundings, the condition of the weapons and ammunition stockpiles, as well as the stockpile management procedures and processes in place.

Unsecured weapons in Burkina Faso

Unsecured weapons and munitions at an armoury in Burkina Faso.


WEAPONS MANAGEMENT

Weapons management practices that make people accountable for arms that have been assigned to them. Record-keeping is an essential component of weapons and munitions management.

Containerised armoury in Burkina Faso

Signing weapons in and out is a key part of record-keeping.


SECURING WEAPONS

AMD work aims to reduce the risk of diversion by putting in place physical security measures that can reduce risk of theft. Gun racks are normally a key component of MAG’s armoury rehabilitation assistance. These can be produced locally against standard designs.

Weapon rack in Burkina Faso

Weapons racks like this one at an armoury in Burkina Faso reduce the risk of theft.


WEAPONS MARKING

Weapons marking acts as the basis of accountable management systems. MAG’s assistance provide training and expert guidance on weapons marking that is in line with international guiding standards and good practice.

Weapons marking in Burkina Faso

Serial numbers being engraved into weapons at an armoury in Burkina Faso.


TRAINING AND CAPACITY BUILDING

MAG has developed a range of capacity building and training courses. They are always tailored to national and regional context, but draw on the framework of international norms, standards and guidelines.

weapons safety and management in Burkina Faso

A MAG Technical Operations Manager delivers training on weapons safety and management to army personnel in Burkina Faso.


 

All of MAG’s AMD assistance is carried out under the principle of national ownership. This means that MAG doesn’t try to address the insecure and poorly stored arms independently; it supports national authorities to do so.